BMW Crossroads (Or, how to speak to the heart of your core audience. And leave the others unimpressed.)

I thought I’ld share one of my favorite commercials, for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s beautiful.

Secondly, it helps me make a point regarding advertising focused on core target and research.

Crossroads is a bmw commercial from spain, that made it to Cannes some 3 years ago, and that was also featured in The Gunn Report.

The very first time I saw it, it struck me and awoke something in my stomach (no matter how bad it sounds…). Evocative visuals, great music, but most of all it resonated with something deep inside me, the reason why I love to drive when I travel: the unique feelings and sights provided by the different landscapes you go through, all combined to make your journey a visual experience that is in a way uniquely created by you.

So I showed the commercial around, and the reaction from other people was slightly different than what I expected: some people loved it, others were majorly unimpressed by it.

Later I realized that this commercial is only for people that are sensitive to that sense of travelling when you drive, those seeking a journey in a trip. It doesn’t speak to, let’s say, those who look at sport cars only as a speeding machine, and rather seek a race in a trip.

I assume that with this commercial bmw was trying to emotionally engage journey drivers, and this made me wonder: what if this commercial had been tested?

If it had underwent a quantitative test, it would have probably received a quite good score, but not the best. Most likely it’ld have lost against others.

That is, unless the researcher would have been dedicated enough to go beyond the average score, and look at the distribution curve. In this case it’ld have noticed that the curve was nothing like a Gaussian, but rather like two horns: some people who didn’t care much for the ad, and others who absolutely loved it!

And the next step would have been to go through the data and find out that those loving the commercial were the very core audience of that BMW model.

But I doubt that all this happened, so Kudos to BMW for trusting its guts to speak to ours. (Or at least mine).

Final Burp: How often do we see average scores of tests split into their distribution curve?

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