BMW sticks with KBS&P in US after four-way shoot-out – is this an end to Joy?

MDC’s flagship New Yrok shop Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners has won BMW’s $160m account, beating competition from Martin, Gotham, Toronto’s Cundari and Grey (which only pitched for the dealer account).

KBS&P has been minding the account since BMW split with Austin agency GSD&M, originators of BMW’s contentious ‘Joy’ campaign.

The move is a blow for Omnicom, which owns both GSD&M and Martin. It’s also interesting that Grey, which formerly handled some regional advertising, figured on the shortlist for the dealer advertising only. Parent WPP has since signed an exclusive deal with Ford.

With a new 3-Series car on the way as well as its first foray into electric cars with the forthcoming ‘i’ range BMW seems to be trying to re-position itself as a fuel-frugal, low emissions marque (in contrast to its previous boy racer image) in KBS&P’s recent Super Bowl ad.

It’ll be interesting to see if David Bowie’s wonderful ‘Changes’ becomes BMW’s signature tune in other markets as well as the US.

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