BMW China: The “Beast Inside” Viral Campaign

BMW China recently created a rather impressive viral campaign to promote the launch of the BMW M3 ’25th Anniversary’ Tiger Edition for the Chinese market. The new model launched on the 31st August 2010, but only 30 were made!

The aim of the viral campaign was two-fold:

  1. Create suspense and conversations pre-launch
  2. Raise awareness of the BMW ‘M’ brand in China

So what did BMW China do?

Stage 1 – Create Curiosity

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - The Box

The aim at first was to create buzz, so BMW posted a non-branded video of a large container supposedly discovered at the Nurburgring (Germany) and suspense was built around teasing people to try and work out what was inside. The video received over 96,000 views per week on Youku.

Stage 2 – Build Anticipation

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - Container Display Beijing

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - Container Displays Beijing

With the public now curious about what was inside the container, the key was now to create further and heighten interest around it. BMW China placed containers in the Downtown and Wangufjing areas of Beijing.

This public display lead to people seeking out information about the containers online, and articles about the containers entered into local press.

Stage 3 – Raise The Excitement Levels

With the interest surrounding the containers at an all time high. BMW China then unleashed the ‘beast’.

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - Beast Unleashed in Beijing

Stage 4 – Product launch

The grand finale. The BMW M3 ’25th Anniversary’ Tiger Edition is unveiled to the public at a much-anticipated product launch.

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - Product launch

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - Product launch 2

And at long last the contents of the container are revealed online as well @ Thus BMW succeeds in raising awareness and excitement around the ‘M’ brand in China. A great example of a well planned and executed campaign.

BMW M3 Tiger Edition (China) - Print Ads

BMW 'M' Series - Print Ads

Credit to: Interone & 39°N

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  • a;lkfsd

    sofa! Finally.

    Now I dont question whether Chinese people can afford to buy these cars, but doesn’t this kind of marketing campaign further highlight the gap between rich and poor?

    • @ a;lkfs

      I think there is definitely a question as to whether Chinese people can afford to buy these cars. The difference between rich and poor in China is seemingly forever increasing. Those born after 1990 and into wealth are the audience that companies are now targeting. Li-Ning’s recent re-brand is a great example of a Chinese company doing this.

      Brands (particularly Western brands) want to target those who have money. So the fact they are not catering to the needs of a significant amount of the Chinese population is not a concern to them (at the moment).

      However, this is not the case for all companies. China Mobile is an example of where they are able to meet the needs of those in the poorer and wealthier areas of the population respectively.

      What is surprising for a ‘developing country’, is that a number of the Chinese youngsters living well in Shanghai are probably some of the richest of their generation in the world, but many say they are spoiled and selfish.

      So is advertising just to them good for the future of China?

      • kl.aus

        it’s just the wrong way to look at this campaign, target group… ect.

        But yes, a poor guy, also like myself (definition what is “rich” means is up to you) never could afford a car like this.


        It’s makes me not unhappy…

      • -___-

        Its not about who can afford the car. Its about brand awareness of BMW “M division”. The M division is simply a marketing division to show BMW’s advance technologies and exclusivity. For those who only knew Porsche and Ferrari (doesn’t matter if they could afford one or not), will now look at BMW in a different way as a whole. The before regular 3-series old-regular-bmw, now is a 3-series of the BMW-that-has-M-Division.

  • nandinisen

    Fantastic! Keep up the good work.

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