It has been a challenging few months to be either an executive in the automobile industry or someone who loves the thrill of the open road. As the world has retreated indoors and sought to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, car brands and owners have endured a rough first half of 2020. As countries and markets slowly emerge into the open again, carmakers now want to rekindle people's love for their wheels and the joy of owning and driving their favourite cars.
However, two new campaigns suggest that this industry, and especially luxury labels, are taking a more understated approach to marketing. Rather than advertise their vehicles' speed and pomp, BMW in China and Porsche in India have focused on the addressing owners' (and hopefully, for them, potential buyers') sense of soul.
In the case of BMW China, it has collaborated with Luxury guide Tatler to launch a campaign for the new X5M/X6M. The brand engaged fashion designer Uma Wang to create unique covers for both new models. The campaign is a co-creation with Juice Network Beijing, BMW China’s lead creative agency and Tatler.
The campaign is based on Qi, a traditional Chinese concept which represents the flow of life energy, and according to Chinese philosophy, the origin of things and their links to their surroundings. To steer watchers away from power and performance, the campaign has Wang design car covers that, the company contends, unwrap the Qi inside BMW X5M and X6M.
The campaign runs across both BMW and Tatler‘s digital and social media channels including Weibo, WeChat and TikTok as well as on internal corporate channels.
Over in India, Porsche has similarly chosen to focus on the well-being consumers stand to gain from owning and driving swish wheels. The campaign, created by the carmaker's in-house team, features three films. One focuses on Parvathy Pillai, an engineer turned healthcare entrepreneur and proud Porsche Boxster owner, who looks to unwind from the urban chaos she lives in by taking a break in the southern India state of Kerala. She asserts that her prized car is something that "gives me joy." Rather than focus on the Boxster's mechanics, the campaign is all about soul stories and balance, at a time of a pandemic, when people are tense about their health and well-being. The campaign will run on TV, OTT platforms, and social-media channels including Youtube, Facebook and Instagram up to early next year.