‘Ultimate driving machine’, ‘pure driving pleasure’ and the BMW ‘sound logo’ – a shopping list for the modern day BMW advert creator, but it wasn’t always such a uniform message from BMW. Here we take a look at some contemporary adverts for the iconic BMW E30.
Back from a time when such things as a ‘consistent brand image’ weren’t common watch-words for advertisers, these E30 ads are refreshing if nothing else, simply due to their variety.
While that classic ’80s synth sound is a current theme, these adverts are largely unlinked pieces, each presenting the E30 in a different way. Was it more effective and less confusing for the consumer? Probably not. But these ads prove interesting as an artefact to look back upon, given their creativity.
1. “BMW solves the mid-life crisis” – U.S.A.
An American advert that presents BMW as a constant problem solver for the world’s automotive crises (the fuel crisis etc, etc), here the BMW E30 is marketed as a solution to the ‘midlife crisis’, offering such affordable six-cylinder performance.
This isn’t a great reflection on the American male of the late-eighties to say the least, suggesting Americans were as keen to buy their way back to happiness as ever.
A strained idea to say the least, the advert is noteable as an example of the ‘ultimate driving machine’ moniker stretching back into the past, with the line appearing at the end of the piece.
2. “The new formula for automobiles” – Germany
An advert from the E30’s native Germany, this ad would struggle to be more Teutonic. A kraftwerk-esque soundtrack partners a voiceover giving matter-of-fact performance and specification figures for the iconic M3.
The M3 proved to be a game-changer as the advert boasts too, becoming the winningest racing car of its period.
3.”The BMW 318i, now with power steering” – Britain
In Britain, the E30 was sold not with technical figures, but with a thoroughly modern and humourous piece, demonstrating the new light steering of the 318i. A starker contrast to the ruthlessly sober German commercial would be hard to find.
Obviously the E30 had power steering on higher spec models, but this advert wanted to make it clear everyone could now enjoy the lighter set up – even a mouse.
Quite what the mouse had been eating to acquire the weight to move the wheel – never mind turn off the steering lock – we’re not so sure.