The German auto giant BMW has outraged motorists with a controversial online marketing video that, according to critics, mocked its older core baby boomer customers and denigrated one of the company's most successful flagship sedans – the classic 7 Series.
It could also hurt sales if drivers said on social media that they took the insults “personally” and are not buying another BMW.
One commented, “It's like they really hate people who have one of their older cars. And by "older" I mean "made before 2017".
The offensive video created to highlight BMW's high-tech iDrive intelligent system in its new iX electric sport utility vehicle has angered and confused consumers who have wondered what the automotive giant is trying to achieve by undermining his proud legacy of attacking a legend car that cemented the company's success.
It also seems to fuel intergenerational conflicts and portray baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1964 – as angry, narrow-minded, mud generation people who don't "listen" and condemn modern ideas as a "bull" *** t & # 39; and evokes the answer: & # 39; It is almost impossible to speak to your generation. & # 39;
The video was posted on BMW's website and shared on social media such as Twitter and YouTube as part of its participation in the high-profile global consumer electronics show (CES 2021), which is currently taking place online.
However, it was dismissed as a blatantly condescending and "woken up" message that led some to post on social media that they would not buy another BMW.
It even led an owner to wonder if "everyone in the Munich marketing department is hopelessly excited about crack".
Critics point out that the history of the baby boomer generation – with advances since the "permissive" 1960s in all areas of social, political, cultural and technological life – shows that this account could not be further from the truth.
Some long-time BMW customers used social media to announce that because of these attitudes they would look elsewhere for their next car. One said bluntly: "We're out."
The video clip, which aims to promote the latest version of iDrive for the upcoming iX electric SUV, was posted on YouTube, on the BMW website and shared on social media
In a statement, the Munich-based BMW said: “This film was made by BMW AG to highlight the development of iDrive over the past 20 years as the next generation system will be unveiled in the spring.
"However, this clip is for certain global markets and is not showing in the UK or US."
However, the statement seems to fly in the face of the facts.
It ignores the fact that BMW used on Twitter is eagerly read around the world and especially in the UK and US.
The question also arises as to why the car characters involved spoke English with American accents.
It also contradicts the fact that BMW specifically states on its website and in its posts that the clip is directly linked to the consumer electronics show organized in the US.
BMW later confirmed that the offensive video was posted on BMW's global Twitter account – @BMW – which is operated by parent company BMW AG in Munich and is available to users around the world, including the UK and US.
However, it appeared that the British and US guns from BMW were trying to distance themselves from the move as the video was not posted by the local national Twitter accounts – @BMW_UK and @BMWUSA – dedicated specifically to customers on these Locations were determined.
The series follows an earlier BMW controversy back in November when the company's marketing gurus posted a tweet in response to someone criticizing iX styling on YouTube, vilifying suspected older customers with the jibe of "OK, Boomer" – which led to a major backlash.
Commentators questioned the motive of the tweet, especially given that baby boomers make up around half of BMW's sales – especially in the major US market.
On three occasions the "grumpy" old BMW repeats the same explosive in fantasy conversation between the two cars
BMW's latest video promo uses excessive explosive devices
At the center of the new series is an online video designed to show a fantasy argument between two competing BMWs in one of the company's parking lots – a brand new and recently unveiled iX all-electric sport utility vehicle and a historic 2001 7-series petrol-powered sedan – face the bumper to bumper. Both have American accents.
The implication seems to be that the iX represents the present and the future, while the 7 – and its customer base – should be firmly anchored in the past.
As if to reinforce this point, the 7's voice is portrayed as an older, grizzly, grumpy and gruff man with old-fashioned, firm and inflexible attitudes who only likes "real cars" and who repeatedly dismissed modern technology as "bulls" *** t & # 39; and describes 21st century electric vehicles as & # 39; Toy cars & # 39 ;.
In sharp contrast to this, the character of the iX is a young, "smarter, better" and apparently enlightened woman's voice who describes the older car as "grandpa" who "sniffs too long at the gas pump" and uncompromisingly says: "Your time." is over. & # 39;
The award-winning BMW 7 Series has been the flagship of the BMW range for decades, loved by captains of industry and successful entrepreneurs, with armored versions that were used in Blair's reign and even Downing Street and the Metropolitan Police beyond.
But anyone expecting a respectful nod to the past is in shock.
At some point the iX says in a female voice to the older male car: "Of course you don't understand." It is almost impossible to speak to your generation. Anyone can talk to me. "
She adds, "I am the intelligent personal assistant. Do you know what I mean? Intelligent."
The grumpy car of the older generation can only react angrily with "bull *** t" and "marketing bull *** t".
The best he can offer in response is: "I can go very fast."
The new car then gives out more jibes, e.g. B. "You're just not listening".
The tone and content of the short film made drivers and BMW customers of all ages angry – who also claim that the classic BMW 7 Series is definitely a far more elegant offer than the cheeky new iX with its cartoon-like giant grill.
Leading motorist Hilton Holloway, who writes for Autocar, the world's longest-running auto magazine, bluntly told BMW: "All of the" old people are out of date "are amazingly stupid."
One Twitter user, Matt Robinson, asked, “WHAT is it trying to convey? That the new, hideous products from BMW are complacent, self-satisfied assholes? That his old cars are all GAMMON ?! It's just awful. And yet I want an E65 760Li. "
He added, “It's like they really hate people who have one of their older cars. And by "older" I mean "made before 2017". I honestly take this video personally. I was a BMW man for a year. Not anymore. & # 39;
He later asked if the reason for the bizarre marketing video was that "everyone in the Munich marketing department is hopelessly excited about crack".
Richard Aucock, chairman of the UK's prestigious Guild of Motoring Writers, also highlighted BMW's' bull *** t 'video, describing it as' crazy' and adding, 'I hope some marketers can correct me and explain why this is actually the reason. " Break genius. & # 39;
Another Twitter user, Bahnstormer Tom, said: What is BMW doing? You don't discriminate a 760Li and your heritage like that and get away with it. I own more BMWs than any other brand and I feel like they have completely alienated people like me. I will never buy a new BMW. Strange marketing strategy. That said, it got us talking. "
Simon Charlesworth said in a brief reference to businessman Gerald Ratner, who saw his business go bust after dismissing the jewelry his company sold to gullible customers as "crap", "Even Gerald Ratner would be incredible Find."
Another, Colin Isaac, said, "You wonder if you hired Gerald Ratner as a branding advisor …?"
A reviewer posted on Twitter BMW's previous tagline – "The Ultimate Driving Machine" – defaced and rewritten to read: "The Ultimate WOKE Machine".
Andy Sherrat wrote, "I'm starting to believe that Mercedes or Audi are currently paying for social content from BMW." I can't find any alternative justification! "
Philip Hale, PR for the leading automotive industry, said, "If BMW were a person, you'd be convinced they were in a full-blown mid-life crisis."
Alan Bradley replied to this driver: "If BMW were a person, you'd think they'd spent too much time in the White House."
James R. Williams, owner of a private rental car, said: “My 14 year old 760 Li drives wonderfully and can get me to the south of France in a few minutes at a gas pump. The newbie still has a long way to go to offer this benefit. & # 39;
Ananda Roy said: “After 15 years of owning several BMWs – almost all of them newly tailored to our needs and usually 2/3 cars in the household – we are on the road. It happened organically. I like the driving dynamics, but others have come a long way too, and the interior and exterior design is just weird. "
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