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      08-14-2013, 10:58 PM   #1
Kabrich
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NYT:BMW Uses Humor to Clear the Air On Diesel’s Dismal Reputation

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/bu...ef=media&_r=1&

Clearing the Air on Diesel’s Dismal Reputation
By STUART ELLIOTT
Published: August 13, 2013


BMW of North America is revving up its diesel engines again, starting an ambitious effort to encourage car buyers to consider six new diesel-power models for 2014.

A campaign to promote six new BMW diesel models recognizes that consumers in the United States might be skeptical.

In Europe, diesel is a mainstay, but not so in this country, where unpleasant experiences in the 1970s and 1980s led a generation or two to regard diesel as if it were a synonym for “Edsel” and remain uninterested in subsequent diesel engines that were cleaner, quieter and more fuel efficient.

BMW of North America would like to change that, in large part because as an auto company with a German parent, Bayerische Motoren Werke, it already has access to diesel technology. The ability to further amortize the development costs of those engines by changing North American minds about diesel must appeal mightily to the accountants in Munich.

“We have authenticity and credibility when it comes to diesel,” said Dan Creed, vice president for marketing at BMW of North America in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., adding, “You go to Europe, we have markets where 80 percent of what we sell has diesel engines.”

“I’m 46 years of age, and I remember the stigma of diesel growing up,” Mr. Creed said, so an advertising campaign, which gets under way this week, will seek to dispel the negative perceptions among “those who still hang on to them.”

The lack of interest in diesel in this country during the last 30 years also means that younger drivers may not be considering it when they shop.

As Mr. Creed put it: “You talk to someone 25 years old, they have no idea about diesel. They look at you and say, ‘Huh?’ ”

As a result, the BMW campaign will also have an informational aspect. To achieve its goals without seeming didactic or scolding, the campaign takes a humorous tack. For instance, many of the ads carry the theme “It’s time to come clean,” reveling in the double meaning of the phrase.

In one commercial, for the BMW 3 Series diesel, a preppy young man approaches an older man, the father of his girlfriend, and says: “Excuse me, sir, can I talk to you? Jenny and I have thought about this a lot and we decided ... we were thinking ... we bought a diesel.” The father has an uncomfortable look on his face until his future son-in-law gives him a ride in the car.

In a second spot, for the 5 Series diesel, a wife buttonholes her husband, saying, “We need to talk.” She continues: “I don’t know how to tell you this. I’ve been bored lately. I just needed more excitement ... It’s just ... Well, I’ve switched to diesel.”

In the ride-in-the-car part of the commercial, it is the husband who is driving; when he revs the engine, the wife purrs, “Do that again.”

Both commercials end with an announcer intoning: “It’s time to come clean. BMW, the ultimate driving machine.”

There is also a brief, cheeky spot for the 5 Series diesel, destined for digital media like YouTube, that shows a BMW revving in place with smoke coming from the tires rather than the tailpipe. “That old diesel smoke problem?” the announcer asks. “Totally optional.”

The campaign is being created by Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners in New York, part of MDC Partners. Ed Brojerdi, president and co-chief creative officer of the agency, declared himself to be “a huge gear head” before asserting that “diesel is just not what it was” because the new engines provide significantly improved mileage and what he called “head-snapping” performance.

A new BMW diesel “handles like a BMW and feels like a BMW behind the wheel,” he added. “It’s like the ultimate driving machine with benefits.”

It is the goal of the campaign to convey that to “a generation that has not been exposed to diesel” for whom “diesel hasn’t been in the conversation,” Mr. Brojerdi said, as well as to “people from back in the ’70s and ’80s” who associate diesel “with ‘dirty’ and ‘smelly’ and ‘not that powerful.’ ”

The campaign is unafraid to make claims that some might find hard to believe. For instance, one commercial makes the mileage argument by comparing a 3 Series diesel BMW to a gasoline-powered Smart.

“Thirty-eight miles per gallon is impressive,” an announcer says as the Smart appears on screen. When the BMW arrives, he adds: “Until, of course, 45 highway miles per gallon comes along. Forty-five miles per gallon in a car you want to drive.” Ouch.

Some ads acknowledge how skeptical consumers could be. For example, print ads and billboards devoted to the 45 m.p.g. mileage figure follow it with this: “(Yes, you read that right.)”

“There’s a little Missouri there,” Mr. Creed said, referring to that state’s “Show me” motto. “Seeing is believing.”

BMW of North America plans a budget for the national part of the campaign comparable to a budget for a campaign to bring out a new car; those can range in cost from $5 million to $25 million.

In addition to the media spending for the campaign by BMW of North America, there will be additional spending by BMW dealers in local markets, beginning this week.

The national ads are to start next month, Mr. Creed said, and will “gear up through the N.F.L. season and the season premieres” of fall television series.

A version of this article appeared in print on August 14, 2013, on page B7 of the New York edition with the headline: BMW Uses Humor to Clear the Air On Diesel’s Dismal Reputation.
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      08-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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Awesome! Now let's get a 6cyl diesel back in the 3er!
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      08-15-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
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It's weird how they describe BMW NA as, a car company that has access to diesel thanks to their german parent... As if they were an independent company with self-designed cars. They just import the German cars.

And as a European I hate diesel, go to a big city there and smell the diesel fumes everywhere and tell me you still like diesel after smelling this crap 25 years of your (shortened) life.
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      08-15-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabrich View Post
There is also a brief, cheeky spot for the 5 Series diesel, destined for digital media like YouTube, that shows a BMW revving in place with smoke coming from the tires rather than the tailpipe. “That old diesel smoke problem?” the announcer asks. “Totally optional.”
This made me laugh out loud. So clever! I want to find this video.
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      08-15-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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Question ECO Credit Maybe

Wondering if BMW will include a diesel ECO credit in their marketing plans ?
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      08-15-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rconti View Post
Awesome! Now let's get a 6cyl diesel back in the 3er!
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerfestool View Post
And as a European I hate diesel, go to a big city there and smell the diesel fumes everywhere and tell me you still like diesel after smelling this crap 25 years of your (shortened) life.
And that is the mistaken impression of what diesel is in 2013, which they are trying to correct.
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      08-16-2013, 08:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giggity317 View Post
This made me laugh out loud. So clever! I want to find this video.
The videos are now up.
http://www.youtube.com/user/BMWUSA
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      08-20-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerfestool View Post
And as a European I hate diesel, go to a big city there and smell the diesel fumes everywhere and tell me you still like diesel after smelling this crap 25 years of your (shortened) life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabrich View Post
And that is the mistaken impression of what diesel is in 2013, which they are trying to correct.
Actually, this is not a mistaken impression at all.
The smell may be less, but it is still not "clean".

"Clean" diesel only applies from the Earth point of view. It is definitely more earth friendly with higher efficiency/mileage and lower C02 emission.

But it is still "dirty" from human point of view - as diesel engine has up to 30x as much pollutants as petrol/gas despite the advancement in technology. Pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter still cause a lot of harm to our health.

All these diesel ads would only concentrate on its eco-friendliness and performance, but few would even mention about the human toll.
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      08-20-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Diesel emits fine particles that will give you cancer and respiratory problems (any fine enough powder or fiber will, more or less).

Other than that it is cleaner than gas, just not in urban environment.
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      08-20-2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnoop View Post
Actually, this is not a mistaken impression at all.
The smell may be less, but it is still not "clean".

"Clean" diesel only applies from the Earth point of view. It is definitely more earth friendly with higher efficiency/mileage and lower C02 emission.

But it is still "dirty" from human point of view - as diesel engine has up to 30x as much pollutants as petrol/gas despite the advancement in technology. Pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter still cause a lot of harm to our health.

All these diesel ads would only concentrate on its eco-friendliness and performance, but few would even mention about the human toll.
Yes and even in Europe they are starting to question the diesel favoritism because of the pollutants.

And to Kabrich, you should go to Paris in 2013 and smell the roses... Then come back and tell me what the roses smell over there. Yeah diesel.
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      08-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #11
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It would be amazing if ActiveHybrid 3 was the 2.0T diesel instead of N55.

Diesel highway efficiency and electric city efficiency would be a killer combo.
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      08-21-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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Article from 3 hours ago....

10 Reasons You Should Buy A Diesel Car

http://read.bi/17KWZWg
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      10-25-2013, 02:46 AM   #13
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Read the klutzes on Mazda forums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
Diesel emits fine particles that will give you cancer and respiratory problems (any fine enough powder or fiber will, more or less).

Other than that it is cleaner than gas, just not in urban environment.
I happily drive a 123d, but I shuddered when a friend (who owns a Mazda) showed me the Mazda forums where these klutzes are raving about removing the DPF. Whatever the fines for doing this they are not high enough.

Now that Australia has cleaned up its distillate, diesels like the BMW 123d don't smell. But the particulate issue needs more technology thrown at it to make the low fuel consumption -- lower than a Lexus hybrid -- really shine.
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