Launching the Bmw Z3 Roadster

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In the mid 1990’s, BMW decided to launch a new vehicle titled the BMW Z3 Roadster, its first car to be manufactured in North America. BMW wanted to capitalize on the decline of the motorcycle market with a roadster sports car that was targeted at driver excitement and “emotional fantasy” for drivers. The Z3 initiative provided the important opportunity to increase market share and build a stronger brand connection with Americans. Its success would influence how Americans related to all BMW products moving forward, shaping overall brand strength across market segments. The Z3 Roadster launch also needed to be done with the context of BMW’s redesigned 5 series and their role as the “official international automotive sponsor” of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. For the launch of the Z3, BMW’s marketing team led by VP James McDowell chose to target more non-traditional forms of media, a departure from their customary marketing campaigns. The campaign was centered on placement of the Z3 in the GoldenEye Bond film teaming with MGM (producer of GoldenEye) on highly integrated marketing strategies for a co-launch of the movie and product. Many of BMW Film campaign’s advertisements centered on the connection to the “Bond Car” identity and many of the trailers and advertisements since GoldenEye prominently displayed the Z3. Additionally, the marketing team featured the Z3 in a Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog, a “build your own roadster” interactive option of BMW’s website, had an “unveiling” show in New York, and showcased the car on the Jay Leno show. These creative marketing methods created a huge amount of buzz for the Z3 model and generated immediate pre-launch sales. The success of the BMW Film campaign bought the company a great start to the Z3 campaign. The challenge the marketing team now faced was how to continue the momentum into the next phase and achieve goals including: increasing volume of U.S. sales to 300,000 cars sold per year, supporting...
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