New agency FCB Inferno gives BMW a Stone Age retread

Interpublic bought UK integrated agency Inferno about 18 months ago to try to put some much overdue fizz and vim into FCB, its second string network after McCann. FCB in London had been nowhere, seemingly forever.

‘Integrated,’ of course, means a below-the-line agency which has ventured above it, which raises obvious questions. When it comes to big campaigns for big clients, can they hack it?

To the astonishment of pretty nearly everybody, including the long-time incumbent agency Engine-owned WCRS, FCB Inferno won the BMW account back in the summer. Its first ad, ostensibly for the i8 electric Beemer, is now about to appear (in the X Factor at the weekend). Can FCB Inferno hack it against the big boys?

Who include, inter alia, a still-seething Robin Wight of WCRS, who probably has Ugo or Uwe, or whoever it is at BMW, on speed dial.

So let’s go back to the beginning – to 4000 BC no less, with a rather terrified looking actor/stunt man (not sure about the wig) coming to terms with a herd of wild stallions (you can see one of them is a stallion). The bones of ten or so of his predecessors are probably scattered over a desert somewhere. All that’s missing is Raquel Welch in a fur bikini.

It’s all sublimely silly but gets there; it makes the point. The point being not to sell BMWi8s, thery’re all spoken for in the foreseeable future, but to say that BMW is different to other upscale car brands – it takes big risks they don’t.

We’ll just have to wait to see where ‘curiosity’ takes us next. Pythagoras? Isaac Newton? Anyway, one of the more interesting campaigns to emerge recently.

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