Saturday, April 24, 2010

X-RAY China: BMW Brings Joy To China

Photos: Ray Ally

BMW has just launched its new global advertising campaign called ‘Joy’ in China. The launch coincides with last weeks, Shanghai Grand Prix and the opening yesterday of the 11th Beijing International Auto Show.

The campaign has been localised for the China market and the word Joy has been translated into the Chinese word Yue 悦. It expresses not only the feeling of joy, but also the action of giving joy. It is not an everyday word, but a high level translation that would be used in written Chinese. Consequently, it is a word that can be found in the ancient writings of Confucius.

This ad feature BMW’s latest green hybrid concept car. It uses new ActiveHybrid technology with innovative electric storage technology, lightweight engineering and consistently optimised aerodynamics. Which all means it can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in only 4.8 seconds.

However, just as striking is the use of Chinese culture, calligraphy, painting and Peking Opera masks to customise the brand image to a local market. The use of masks in theatre dates back many centuries in China. The different colours and patterns of the opera masks are used to communicate the actor’s character, so each colour has a specific meaning.

In this ad the blue, black and white of the opera mask not only matches the colour scheme of the car but also BMW’s corporate logo colours. In Chinese Opera masks the colours blue and black communicate strength, boldness and fierceness, so a good fit for BMW’s image in China.

The Joy campaign kicked of last year in Europe and America as a way to enhance the brands reputation and create a more emotional connection with its consumers. You can watch the full the Joy video, as well as other great videos on BMW Web TV.

China is now the largest and most important market for cars in the world. And although the China market is still immature, consumers are already saturated with car brands, models and options. So brands like BMW know that differentiating themselves in this market is critical for success and this new campaign will help sharpen its position.

Chinese auto brands can learn a lot from BMW, who know that emotional factors are as important if not more important than the rational factors. And that standing for one brand idea in the consumers mind is better than try to be all things to everybody. However, that focus on your brand positioning takes courage and a single-minded determination to drive home a multi-faceted brand experience. The copy on BMW’s latest ad says it the best:

Joy. On the back of this three-letter word we built a company. We do not build cars. We are the creators of emotions. We are the Joy of Driving. Innovation is our backbone, but Joy is in our heart. We will not stray from our three-letter purpose. We will push it, test it, break it–and then build it again. More efficient, more dynamic. And while others try to promise everything, we promise one. The very personal, cherished and human of all emotions. This is the story of BMW. This is the story of Joy.

At this weeks Beijing International Auto Show, BMW will be showcasing one world premier and nine new models will be making their Asian debut. Including, the new long wheelbase BMW 5, which has been specially developed for the China market, where consumers demand a bigger car with more legroom.

Last year BMW sold over 90,000 cars, making China its fourth largest market in the world. However, with its new line up of cars and a stronger brand positioning it expects to reach over 100,000 this year. So BMW is not just selling more cars, but building the brand and creating an emotional connection through joy to drivers in China.
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X-RAY China

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