BMW published a four-minute and change ad a couple weeks ago for the start of the virtual CES 2021 show. Though this would not normally be a subject worth covering, this particular ad seems to indicate BMW believes their own E65 7-Series is for ridiculous out of touch Boomers.
Marketing departments always know what they’re doing, right?
A Story of Generations starts off with a portrayal of a circa 2008 760Li giving a “Get off my lawn!” speech to the upcoming iX crossover, BMW’s connected smart EV of the future. The iX has arrived to replace the 7-Series on a special platform at BMW HQ. The ad follows the two cars’ conversation, with the condescending and youthful iX talking to the out of touch and ancient 2008 760Li, “Hi Grandpa!”
Mocked are the 7-Series’ consumption, lack of connected capability, and generally terrible Boomer characteristics. “How do you even know what a real car is?”
The iX continues, “It’s just impossible to talk to your generation,” expanding the criticism to, I suppose, everything BMW produced circa 2008? What a stupid car, it doesn’t even talk to you in a connected, Alexa-type way! And those screen graphics! Who could ever live with that?
“An immersive experience,” iX says. “Marketing bullshit!” 7-Series replies. Ya got that right.
BMW explains the ad “A firstly superficial bragging and mocking conversation turns into a lesson about development, interdependence and caring.” The first half of that statement is certainly correct. “Future? Recycling yard,” says the iX. BMW really doesn’t want anyone to own the product they made before the iX. Around the middle of the ad, the 7-Series tries to connect to the internet, and a dial-up sound is made because people used dial-up in 2008. An electrical fault ensues because old BMWs have bad electrics, and the iX responds “OMG, did you just die?”
At that point the tone turns toward conciliatory, and the iX wants to learn things from the drunken 7-Series which actually tasted gasoline like a barbarian. She says to the 7 she just denigrated, “You are a true classic.” Clearly, BMW doesn’t believe this. The “lesson” portion of the ad is very short, and limited to about 15 seconds of the 4-minute, 16-second runtime.
At the end, the iX and 7-Series are pictured together on the platform, because they get along now and there’s space for both of them. But there actually isn’t, because the BMW employee in the start of the ad said the 7-Series had to be moved elsewhere.
The ad is too long, too cringeworthy, and sends a big middle finger to owners of older BMWs who might enjoy a car as ancient as 2008. Imagine what BMW must think of their cars from the Nineties and Eighties? The “OK Boomer” message is a poorly chosen one, and the focus on how crap your own flagship vehicle was just a few years ago isn’t the best messaging. After all, BMW was happy to sell you that new 760 in 2008, for a whopping $124,000.
But somehow this ad made it through the various levels of review and approval at BMW New Cars Only LLC. At least the message is out there now: Never buy a used BMW, because not even BMW thinks that’s a good idea.