The new "enemy of ideas" spot for BMW captures corporate citizens we all of us know too well. These are the people who like to say "no," the ones who resist, resent, and refuse innovation.
In the BMW ad, they says things like "Let me play the devil’s advocate," or "With all due respect, but" and the ad has us understand that this is the language of obfuscation, and they are the agents of orthodoxy.
In another spot called "euphemisms," we hear a corporate citizen say "You’ve presented some very challenging ideas" and the ad offers a translation: "I am scared of your thinking." "Keep that idea in your back pocket" is translated as "Your idea is about to die a slow death."
Brilliant. This is an important new cultural territory. It is now clear just about everywhere in the corporate world that innovation is the new order of the day. BusinessWeek has said we now have an innovation economy. As culture and commerce change in this way, new meanings open up for the brand, and I was wondering when someone’s brand would step up to claim it. It looked for awhile as if HP might make itself a special friend of dynamism, but that campaign seemed finally to lose its way.
Now BMW has seized the opportunity: "at BMW ideas are everything and as an independent company, we make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines." Apparently, BMW means to make itself the "Company of Ideas."
The campaign is by GSD&M. I don’t have the names of the creative team at GSD&M or at BMW, but good on ya, mates. This is good work. Let us hope that it does as much for the corporation as it does for the brand. I will supply these if I can, but right now I have less than a minute to press time.
Anonmymous. 2006. BMW Unveils New Advertising Campaign. The Auto Channel. May 8, 2006. here.
McCracken, Grant. 2005. Death by Committee. This Blog Sits At the. April 6, 2005. here.