BMW, Honda put people in race cars to drive authentic content

Dive Brief:

  • BMW and Honda are both putting people in racing cars, per separate press releases made available to Marketing Dive.
  • The Honda campaign, “Racing at Heart,” includes an influencer element with eight influencers from different backgrounds helping start an IndyCar Series race riding behind champion driver Mario Andretti in the Honda IndyCar. There's also an ad campaign focused on the brand's racing programs including the Verizon IndyCar Series, Red Bull Global Rallycross and desert truck racing as a way to demonstrate Honda’s deep roots in competition and how that inspires the engineering of its vehicles available to customers. 
  • BMW turned to the racetrack in a different manner for the creative supporting its BMW Hot Lap Pitch startup accelerator program, placing entrepreneurs  in a BMW M550i circling a racetrack at around 100 MPH as they pitched their business ideas to venture capitalists.

Dive Insight:

The BMW campaign is interesting because it seems to be borrowing from the popularity of TV programming like Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," and James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke." The common thread seems to be the thinking that by taking celebrities — or entrepreneurs in the case of BMW's campaign — and putting them in a unusual environment like a moving car, their responses are likely to be more authentic. The BMW effort also appears to be assessing how comfortable with risk the riders, which is typically considered an important character trait of entrepreneurs. 

The creative lives online on a site for the startup accelerator program, reflecting a narrow targeting focus on entrepreneurs. According to BMW, entrepreneurs are a key demographic audience for its 5 series of cars and the spots were seen as a way to highlight its innovation by appealing directly to entrepreneurs through showing their peers pitching business ideas while experiencing the car first hand on a racetrack. The car used in filming the spots is the fastest BMW 5 series and isn’t available to the public yet.

Honda's influencer campaign takes influencers with different interests, like base jumping and science. By putting them in a race car, they can each share about their experience with their respective audiences, helping Honda bring its excitement about and commitment racing to an online audience in an authentic manner. 

Filed Under: Social Media Video Corporate News
Top image credit: BMW