Our challenge: launch the all new BMW X5 into a cluttered and highly competitive SUV category and hit sales target in the two months to 31st December, 2013.

Ironically, BMW’s recent success would add to the challenge. In 2012 BMW regained their status as #1 premium car brand by de-premiumising the brand, focusing on cheaper, entry level models and targeting a younger, female buyer. But the X5 was the antithesis of this: a premium SUV costing in excess of $100k with a primary target market of high net worth, highly successful men.

This audience have enough money to buy whatever car they want so their decision is rarely a rational one. In fact their car is really a social signal; a statement of their success to others.

Our insight: for the potential X5 buyer, having the best isn’t about the object per se, it’s about the success signal it sends to others.


Make the new X5 synonymous with a new success benchmark, by signalling this through our media behaviour.

Our idea: “signalling success” – setting new media behavioural benchmarks for the category that raised the bar in highly visible ways that could earn attention and inspire deeper engagement.


We focused on a handful of benchmark-raising media experiences, each of them a New Zealand media-first, and each designed to earn attention and spark engagement.

  1. NZ’s first ever video magazine ad: a 4” motion-sensitive LCD screen embedded into an advert in Denizen.
  2. A first of its kind outdoor installation: a life-sized replica X5 scaling a pedestrian bridge at Auckland Airport.
  3. A NZ-first partnership with APN to create an interactive, multi-platform digital discovery experience. This included a tablet-responsive microsite and rich media interactive showroom banners.

These were supported by a highly selective AV schedule bought entirely environmentally.

This benchmark-raising approach worked. Our video magazine advert was shared to 12,000 people through social media; people called Denizen requesting a copy; businesses reported copies being stolen; one subscriber even told the editor they bought an X5 thanks purely to the ad!

Over 180,000 people engaged with our digital showrooms; 1,511 people requested more X5 information – a 505% increase in response compared to previous launch campaigns.

Meaning sales targets were exceeded by 47%.