FREE AT LAST

ClientBMW AG
Category A01. Fiction & Non-Fiction Films up to 5 minutes
TitleFREE AT LAST
Product/ServiceBRAND BMW
Entrant JUNG VON MATT Hamburg, GERMANY
Idea Creation JUNG VON MATT Hamburg, GERMANY
Production HOCHKANT FILM Munich, GERMANY
Credits
Name Company Position
Thim Wagner Jung von Matt AG Executive Creative Director
Max Lederer Jung von Matt AG Executive Creative Director
Andreas Ernst Jung von Matt AG Managing Director
Jan Anderßen Jung von Matt AG Group Client Service Director
Erik Höhn Jung von Matt AG Creative Director
Lars Grübler Jung von Matt AG Senior Copywriter
Philipp Wagner Jung von Matt AG Senior Project Manager
Marc Schölermann Hochkant Film GmbH & Co. KG Director
Ekkehart Pollack Hochkant Film GmbH & Co. KG Director Of Photography
Pascal Bohlen Hochkant Film GmbH & Co. KG Executive Producer
Auro Stagge Hochkant Film GmbH & Co. KG Producer
Simon Licht / /
Jens Thiemer BMW AG Head of Brand Steering and Marketing
Ann-Kathrin Raabe BMW AG Head of international Advertising and Campaign development
Daniela Sykes BMW AG Project Manager international Advertising and Campaign development

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

With our fake documentary using a lookalike of a celebrity, we played with the perception of the viewers – in an entertaining way. Were they seeing the actual Mercedes CEO driving one of their main competitor’s cars? Quite scandalous. Or was it all a well-made fake?

Background

May 22nd 2019 was Retirement Day for Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche. This was a big deal, as he stepped down after 14 years of being at the helm of Mercedes. Dr. Zetsche was the public face of Mercedes - easily recognizable with his signature mustache look which he hasn't changed in decades. He even starred in commercials for the brand as Dr. Z. So the retirement of Mr. Zetsche was sure to make headlines - internationally. How could BMW pay an honest tribute to this much-respected competitor? And maybe leverage the great public attention on the Mercedes CEO to score one for BMW as well?

Describe the creative idea

A tribute documentary style film with twinkle-in-the-eye humor. A film showing Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche saying good-bye to his colleagues on retirement day – only to arrive at home and - finally - being able to drive his secret desire: a BMW. He was free at last. It was a fake documentary, of course. So on a day were all the spotlight was supposed to be on Mercedes, we enabled BMW to share a bit of the limelight – for almost no cost.

Describe the strategy

We wanted to leverage the overall buzz around Dr. Zetsche’s retirement, which would be at a maximum on his actual retirement day. We knew that his retirement would be covered in the online, print and TV news that day and tribute pieces would be produced. We also knew, that the target group of BMW and its competitors had this topic on their minds. So we used this already existing momentum to produce a fictional entertaining piece that posed as a non-fictional piece. To finally get our message across to a lot of people: even a Mercedes CEO loves BMW’s cars.

Describe the execution

The media’s and the public attention would be highest on Dr. Zetsches actual retirement day. Therefore, we released the video simultaneously on all relevant Social Media channels of BMW – a potential reach of 45 million – and hoped for it gather momentum, which it did quickly. There was no other paid media spending in this.

Describe the outcome

The online communities and international news outlets reacted instantly. The news media had substantial coverage of the film, from Germany’s public channel ZDF late evening news to Germany’s number one newspaper website. The video posts on Social Media had 23.5 Million reach, generating 8.5 millions views on BMW's owned channels alone. It was also BMW's most successful Twitter post ever. With a production budget of 200k and no media budget, we earned an activity media value of 28.8 Million Euro.