Flashback Friday — "The Ultimate Driving Machine"

BMW is a brand well known for making high-end automobiles and is currently the best-selling luxury brand in the United States.  And regardless of how you feel about the brand, one must admit its tagline, “the ultimate driving machine” could perhaps be the greatest any car company ever developed.
BMW’s tagline, “the ultimate driving machine”, dates back to 1975, and for 30 years, BMW successfully developed and nurtured its brand.
However, in 2006, BMW’s market research showed that the “the ultimate driving machine” tagline was no longer driving sales, and BMW produced a new advertising strategy touting safety, fuel efficiency, as well as their cars’ high-tech features. In 2010, BMW rolled out a new ad campaign based on “Joy”.
In other words, BMW’s marketing team basically decided to scrap all messaging surrounding their cars’ performance. Many people questioned the move because the BMW brand really has no credentials in the areas of fuel efficiency or safety.
Companies with the best brand image don’t re-brand based on trends. Their consistency will retain and attract customers by reinforcing trust in their brand.
And just as anyone could have predicted, BMW’s new image and touchy-feely series of ads really upset the car enthusiasts loyal to the BMW brand, and in 2011, just in time for the BMW’s biggest product rollout ever, the company re-launched “the ultimate driving machine” tagline in a new series of ads including the same video and imagery of cars sliding sideways on a track that its brand has always been known for.

Driven: Inside BMW, the Most Admired Car Company in the World by David Kiley