To access the mobile site, users call 703-286-BMW3, and receive a voice message welcoming them to the site. "You can go into the site and you get exposed to the new 3 series; you can look at pictures, statistics, all the information that you want to know," said Lou Schultz, Boomerang chairman. "Think of it as dropping a catalogue on your phone," he said.
Customers can also opt-in to receive product alerts, which will come out as the new model nears its launch date, and will be sent to their mobile phones. Consumers are expected to get the number from BMW's Web site, where it will soon be posted, Schultz said. The company also intends to give consumers the number at auto shows or other major events. "They can actually get into it and see all the material while they're at the auto show versus going back home and maybe getting back on the Web and maybe not doing it," said Schultz.
Using this strategy, Boomerang is hoping to get consumers when they're in an involved mood, rather than just bombarding them with traditional ads. "It's tapping a consumer when they're in a frame of mind where they want to know more," Schultz said. "If you're watching traditional advertising, and you see an ad and it calls for interaction, you might go to the Web, and you might not. But here's a way to create something different that the consumer can tie into."
Schultz said BMW already has tested mobile marketing strategies in Europe, where the market is more saturated with mobile technology.
BMW has a history of creating unusual marketing campaigns to push its newest models. In 2001, the company produced a series of short films featuring the BMW 740i Sedan, directed by Hollywood big names like John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, and Guy Ritchie, and starring Clive Owen. In 2003, they produced another series of short films featuring the Z4 Roadster, again starring Clive Owen, with other big-name costars like Gary Oldman, Don Cheadle, and F. Murray Abraham.
BMW declined to comment.