BMW 1 Series – The RampPosted: October 27, 2011 | |
The Ramp is an integrated online campaign that generated sales leads and buzz for the BMW 1 Series Launch in America. The centerpiece is a 35-minute online documentary about the tiny Bavarian village of Oberpfaffelbachen that built a gigantic Ramp to literally launch a 1 Series from Bavaria to America. Our audience could then interact with the town/characters through the campaign’s microsites and social networks. We developed an Oberpfaffelbachen email tourism campaign, even a CafePress store so fans could buy Ramp merchandise. The campaign generated so many sales leads the 1 Series nearly sold out BEFORE the official launch date.
For centuries, the tiny village of Oberpfaffelbachen, Bavaria, has been known for its agriculture and baked goods. Unfortunately, cows and cookies don’t attract the tourist dollars. But upon learning of BMW’s big plan to launch the European 1 Series for the first time in America, the town hatched an idea that would change its destiny forever. The idea was simple: build a gigantic Ramp to launch the new BMW 1 Series from Bavaria to America. Literally. This momentous event would be held during Rampenfest, a festival so big and amazing that it would attract press from around the globe, foreign dignitaries and millions of tourists with wallets full of money. Oberpfaffelbachen would soon be mentioned along side Paris, London and Disney World as a premier tourist destination. In the fall of 2007, a young American documentary filmmaker, Jeff Schultz, traveled to Oberpfaffelbachen and filmed the townspeople, the Ramp and the bizarre events that would unfold during Rampenfest.
Well, at least that’s what we told everyone. In reality, to build buzz for the BMW 1 Series launch in America and appeal to its new, younger demographic, we filmed a fictitious 35-minute documentary — and then from the perspective of our imaginary filmmaker Jeff Schultz — released it exclusively online at Rampenfest.com. Shot on location in Bavaria, we created the village of Oberpfaffelbachen. Using actors and real locals, we assembled an extensive cast of oddball characters – the overconfident Events Manager named Franz Brendl, the town’s naïve mayor Loisl Eder, the local construction owner Hans Unterholzner and his dimwitted stunt driver son Sepp and finally, Evi Gruber, a down on her luck single mother who invested her life savings in Ramp souvenirs. And over the course of five days, we filmed the story of a ridiculous idea and the gullible town that sunk every dime they owned to make it a reality.
“The Ramp” is an integrated campaign that generated sales leads and buzz for the BMW 1 Series launch in America. The centerpiece is a 35-minute online documentary about the tiny Bavarian village of Oberpfaffelbachen that built a gigantic Ramp to literally launch a 1 Series from Bavaria to America. Our audience could then interact with the town/characters via microsites and social networks. We developed an Oberpfaffelbachen tourism commercial, a CaféPress store so fans could buy Ramp merchandise, hosted a movie premiere, even held a “Miss Ramp” beauty pageant to further engage fans over the course of the campaign.
Using popular social networks like Facebook, Uber and Flickr, we created an online presence for our fictitious filmmaker Jeff Schultz. He built a large network of friends by informing them of a documentary he filmed. We leaked teaser clips on YouTube directing viewers to his WordPress blog where they’d discover more information. Eventually, we released a movie trailer followed by the 35-minute documentary at Rampenfest.com. Our audience then uncovered microsites and social networks for the town/characters, allowing them to do anything from buying Ramp merchandise at CaféPress to finding a recipe for a famous Rampenfest pretzel at Bakespace.com.
At the time of this posting, the campaign’s centerpiece — the 35-minute online documentary — was scheduled for release on April 1, 2008. And because the campaign is still ongoing, final results are not yet available. However, in the weeks prior to the release, anticipation and buzz for the documentary and the BMW 1 Series were incredibly strong.
Result:oOver 35 major blogs (with views exceeding one million) hyped the campaign. Over 1,000 fans have joined the campaign’s social networks. The campaign has attracted enough sales leads that the 1 Series nearly sold out BEFORE the official launch date
Advertising Agency: GSD&M Idea City
Creative Director: Allen Hannawell, Matt Davis
Copywriter: Ryan Carrol
Art Director: Scott Brewer
Production Company: Paranoid/Big Fish Filmproduktion
Director: Jeff Schultz/The Vikings