Variety Is Spice Of Life For BMW's X3 Bowl Ads

BMW

BMW wants people to know that its new X3 crossover comes in all sorts of flavors -- and that it is, by the way, built in the U.S. The company, which is advertising in the forthcoming Super Bowl broadcast on Fox, will get these messages across both in the TV spots and via an associated social-media push.

The campaign dangles a two-year lease on the vehicle for the person who gets the exact configuration of the X3 featured in the spot. "The X3 Matchup" program running through Feb. 10 directs consumers to BMW's USA Facebook page, where they can upload one configuration try per day.

The company says the point of the program is to talk about the fact that there are something like 10 million configurations for the X3 and that the crossover vehicle is being built at BMW's U.S. plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The winner of the contest gets a trip for two to the plant to pick up the vehicle, a tour of the facilities, and a two-day performance driving school class at the BMW Performance Center there. The company will also give awards to 10 other winners.

"The X3 Matchup allows us to highlight, in a fun way, the near-infinite number of ways BMW customers can personalize a new X3 and the fact that this vehicle is made right here in America," said Trudy Hardy, manager BMW marketing communications and consumer events, in a release.

If the number of automakers lighting up ad pods during the Super Bowl is any indication, the economy is healthy indeed. Eight or so car companies will advertise in and around the game, with Audi back for the third year in a row.

The automaker will promote its new A8 sedan with a somewhat confrontational ad via San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners suggesting Mercedes-Benz vehicles represent old-school stuffiness and gluttony, a message not shockingly different from what Cadillac has begun saying in its "Red-Blooded Luxury" campaign. Cadillac isn't naming names, but the ads start out with a "cold-blooded" -- perhaps even dead -- couple staring at each other from across a dinner table.

The Audi ad does not audibly name a competitive brand, but a Mercedes E-Class sedan is shown briefly outside a house full of museum-piece mementos of elitism. Last year, sibling brand VW had skin in the game. Mercedes-Benz, for its part, is also going to advertise.

Another brand -- Hyundai -- is using the game and the weeks prior to tout its 2011 Elantra and Sonata vehicles. General Motors is also promoting its brands in the game, including Chevrolet, and Chrysler is reportedly also going to advertise in the game. Ford has the last 30 minutes of the pre-kickoff media bracket to itself, but plans no ads for the actual event.

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