BMW’s Eternal Slogan
BMW’s branding tagline ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ is probably one of the most remembered and successful marketing campaigns. Even today, people appreciate the slogan for its impact on the BMW customer’s fancy and is reflective of his aspirations.
The slogan was introduced during the 1970s and has captured the imaginations of BMW fans ever since. Bob Lutz, the executive vice president of global sales and marketing, developed the slogan while he was working with the advertising agency Ammirati & Puris on a fresh marketing campaign for BMW. Lutz had earlier worked with Ammirati & Puris when he obtained employment at Fiat before joining BMW. The Ultimate Driving Machine slogan became part of the company’s marketing campaign in 1973 and became popular instantly.
The slogan resonated with an entire generation of Americans growing up in the 1970s and looking to buy a car they identified with and felt proud. The generation born right after the Second World War was graduating and entering the workforce and needed a symbol of their mobility. The previous generation had been patrons of American brands such as Buick; however, the growing preference for fuel-efficient cars made young people growing up in the 1970s seeks other options.
With its emphasis on the driving experience, car owners did not feel that they were missing an amazing driving experience while gaining fuel economy. The directness and assertiveness of the best car slogan was another reason for its resonating so deeply with the American consumers. It was not vague or fluffy and made explicit what the company was aiming for—creating a machine that would delight people with its functionality, attractiveness, and performance.
The slogan became an integral part of BMW’s marketing campaigns and became ubiquitous in magazine advertisements. It drove the marketing campaigns and helped to increase sales and create a distinctive positioning for the BMW brand. The slogan adorned the best car ad campaigns from the BMW marketing works for decades.
‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ became synonymous with the BMW brand so much, so that when the company introduced a new slogan ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ in the United States and ‘Joy is BMW’ in some European countries and China, it retained the spirit of emphasizing the intangible aspect and emotion associated with the use of the product. Despite this, BMW fans became critical because they were apprehensive about BMW discarding its iconic slogan.