BMW Unveils New Advertising Campaign for BMW Performance Driving School

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"Relearn to Drive" encourages drivers to consider new skills needed for today.

just like driving a submarine -- except the car isn't packed with torpedoes;

With a new campaign featuring offbeat characters from driving lessons past, BMW of North America will encourage drivers to consider how times have changed since their first lesson -- and who taught them. With elements such as an independent, non-branded micro-site and viral videos, BMW of North America tackles more than just what car to drive as it launches "Relearn to Drive," a creative campaign for the BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with Austin-based GSD&M. The campaign aims to bring the BMW Performance Driving School to life by posing the question, "Who taught you to drive?" The campaign will drive people to visit http://www.RelearnToDrive.com, which is centered on the idea that much of what drivers originally learned was incorrect or no longer applies, and the BMW Performance Driving School is the place to right those wrongs.

The campaign appears in select auto and lifestyle publications, such as Roundel, Autoweek and Road and Track; online via driving enthusiast sites, such as AutoWeek.com and RacingSchools.com; video sites, including YouTube and Google Video; and on postcards distributed at BMW events nationwide this summer. The campaign will also appear in The Onion -- in print and online -- as part of a sponsorship.

The "Relearn to Drive" web site features videos of nine eccentric, over-the-top characters that capture the multitude of ways people may have been taught to drive, including several listed below:

  •     Mom insists that her son must always use two feet when driving, despite what his father tells him;
  •     Dad, nervous with clipboard and checklist in hand, gives his son a strict lesson;
  •     Grandpa, dressed in his old military uniform, says it's time teach his grandson to be a man, and driving a car is "just like driving a submarine -- except the car isn't packed with torpedoes;"

Visitors to the site will also be able to send humorous email postcards with video to friends and family - customized with a link to the video or just the video -- letting them know that perhaps their driving could use some work. In a separate section of the web site, information and high-quality video footage of the BMW Performance Driving School in action will be available.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the BMW Performance Center and BMW Performance Driving School - a 134-acre, state-of-the-art driving facility equipped with closed courses, water walls, a skid pad and an off-road course - as the embodiment of the BMW brand experience for minimal financial commitment. The Driving School offers several programs, including one- and two-day Driving Schools, one- and two-day Teen Driving schools, one- and two-day M Schools for high-performance driving, and an Advanced M School at the Virginia International Raceway to learn highly aggressive driving techniques on professional courses.

"Many drivers on the road today have not considered just how times -- and cars -- have changed since they learned to drive, and this campaign will serve as an entertaining wake-up call that perhaps we could all stand to learn something new," said Jack Pitney, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. "Increasing awareness of the programs we offer at the BMW Performance Driving School will let people know there is a fun way to hone those skills we all may have to use one day, no matter what kind of car they drive."

"BMW's commitment to great ideas goes beyond engineering the best automobiles - they're dedicated to improving the entire driving experience," said John McGrath, Vice President of Communications for GSD&M. "This interactive campaign is a humorous look at how most of us got started behind the wheel and highlights the opportunity to relearn those skills and upgrade the pleasure of driving."

About GSD&M:
GSD&M is a leading marketing and communications company, founded in 1971 by friends who wanted to stay together in Austin after graduating from college. Through Purpose-Based Branding and DynamicCollaboration, GSD&M strives to serve up visionary ideas that make a difference to our clients' businesses. GSD&M has helped build many of the world's most successful brands including BMW, Southwest Airlines, MasterCard, AT&T and the United States Air Force. For more information go to http://www.gsdm.com. GSD&M is part of Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMC).

BMW Performance Center:
The BMW Performance Center, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, comprises the BMW Performance Driving School - a 134-acre, state-of-the-art driving facility equipped with closed courses, water walls, a skid pad and an off-road course; a multi-purpose conference center; customer delivery center; and a service, paint and body facility. The 64,000 square-foot complex opened in 1999 and offers multiple BMW Performance Driving School courses year-round from BMW-certified Driving Instructors for teenagers up to experienced driving enthusiasts. Programs are open to BMW owners and non-owners alike.

For more information: http://www.bmwusa.com/bmwexperience/PerformanceCenter/.

BMW Group In America:
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 81 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:

http://www.bmwgroupna.com
http://www.bmwusa.com
http://www.bmwmotorradusa.com
http://www.miniusa.com
http://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group PressClub at the following address: http://www.press.bmwgroup.com. Broadcast quality video footage is available via The NewsMarket at http://www.thenewsmarket.com.

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