Ashee Sharma

BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali

In a new festive campaign titled 'Sheer Owning Pleasure', BMW India aims to communicate that with the BMW 360 plan, owning the German luxury car is now affordable.

"When was the last time you looked longingly at a BMW on the road and and dreamt of owning one? Stared at it in a parking lot and wondered how it would be to have one in your garage?" asks the German luxury car maker BMW in its new festive campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy Gurgaon.

Bringing alive this longing for a BMW, in a manner that showcases the cars in all their glory, BMW's latest campaign 'Sheer owning pleasure' tells consumers that owning a BMW is now a lot easier. The execution is simple and minimalist, and conveys the car's new found accessibility through the BMW 360 plan in a subtle and edgy way.

BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali
"Diwali is the time of the year when people indulge in various forms of luxury. With our festive season campaign, we hope to ride this sentiment and drive home the message that BMW is more accessible than you think," says the brand.
BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali
In an
, Frank E Schloeder, director marketing, BMW India, shared with us that BMW's TG (target Group) in India is divided into two broad segments - those who have been traditionally rich and have experienced luxury, and second being the rising upper class, which is generally younger. "The latter are winners who want to create their own future. With the growth of the Indian economy, they will gain more importance, and I foresee them as the biggest contributors to the business in the next 15 to 20 years," he said.

To target the younger prospects through affordability, the company recently shifted focus to localisation, which has now been increased to 50 per cent under the 'Make in India' programme. Under the initiative the price of the BMW cars was slashed by up to five lakh rupees and to convey this message, the brand had in July-August rolled out the 'BMW - Proud to Make in India' campaign featuring brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar.

BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali
Less is more?
BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali
BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali
Vishnu Srivastav, creative head, DDB Mudra South and East finds the ad a simple and classy one that communicates value through aspiration. "It's always tricky to communicate the value of luxury. You might end up affecting the imagery of the brand. But this ad drives me mad while still keeping the brand on a pedestal," he says.

While he agrees that the ad could have divulged some benefits of the BMW 360 plan, Srivastav also thinks that getting too much into details would affect the brand image. "In India, there are very few performance oriented car buyers. Mostly it's about value, convenience and in this case, pride of ownership. So imagery is everything, because pride of ownership is driven almost entirely by imagery and perception," he explains.

According to Saurabh Uboweja, CEO and chief brand strategist, Brands of Desire, the campaign has been executed intelligently and hinges on a smart insight that the feeling of owning a BMW is as powerful as the feeling of driving it.

"A brand that is known for its sheer driving pleasure makes you sit in anticipation as you wait to see the car in motion. It never happens. This campaign is about the pride of ownership, about arriving in life, it's about a sublime feeling that the BMW parked outside is yours to admire," he notes.

Discussing the need to be more explanatory with regard to the BMW 360 plan and its benefits to the customers, Uboweja says that as BMW 360 is a multi-channel campaign, the brand does not have to communicate everything in a film. It can be supported by the print and digital mediums.

"It is important for BMW to make viewers excited about owning a vehicle before they talk about ways of owning it. Moreover, luxury brands don't speak much. Their products do the talking. The imagery is non pretentious and believable. In fact, there is not a single shot that focusses on the car and its contours, and yet you notice it. The campaign effectively supports the brand equity BMW stands for," he asserts.

Sharing his opinion on the brand's strategy, Uboweja shares that BMW has seen itself, its leadership and market share slip over the last three years to Audi and Mercedes in the luxury cars segment. Arguably, because of its perception of higher total cost of ownership and lower resale value over 3-5 years. "BMW 360", he opines, "is a plan designed for first time luxury car buyers who are conscious about cost. It is targeted towards well-earning salaried professionals and young entrepreneurs who have just arrived. They are still doubtful if they deserve to own a BMW. BMW 360 and the campaign address these challenges quite well," says Uboweja.

BMW offers affordable luxury this Diwali
Arthi Basak, general manager, strategic planning, Interface Communications, says, "The ad uses stark pan-Indian identifiable locations to give a 'For Indians' feel. BMW is the celebrity and is depicting a range of emotions for the user; from aura to desire to envy," she points out.

Commenting on the execution, Basak adds, "At the heart of luxury advertising it is really about selling an attitude, a belief, a passion. This ad is about giving people who want a luxury product an opportunity to make their desire come true. While as Indians we may all be value conscious, a luxury customer doesn't want to be told he is buying a luxury car because it is easier to own. And hence, the subtlety of rational message is critical."