Around the new millennium with the digital tech revolution, some brands adopted the Internet as a strategic marketing tool. It was not the safest bet at the time because there were still a lot of questions about the digital space. BMW became one of the innovators of the space, and the newfound practice of viral marketing with its video series, “The Hire.” Actor Clive Owen served as a smooth and mysterious transporter (a-la Jason Statham action film) with his sleek BMW in toe.
The series received high acclaim, winning awards at Cannes and being inducted in the Museum of Modern Art. The talent and creative minds behind this series was noteworthy in the entertainment industry, and with BMW Films new film “The Escape,” it looks as if the brand is continuing this high-end production and viral marketing strategy.
Clive Owen reprises his role as the driver alongside Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga. The film was written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, director of “District 9” and “Elysium.” The short is jam-packed with evasive action and curt dialogue. The production value is very high and the story elicits many terse and tense moments.
Many a brand has tried to recreate this type of formula: Johnnie Walker’s “The Gentleman’s Wager II” starring Jude Law and Jaguar’s “Desire” starring Damian Lewis. Brands have tried to create stories in order to attract customers, and this type of marketing is the next step. But it is a tough venture, and if the production and notoriety of the cast and crew are not there, the brand could miss a potentially global engagement and reach.