The BMW Art Car program is an indicator that the brand goes to great lengths to keep things fresh when marketing its vehicles. The brand is not afraid to explore non-endemic opportunities like getting involved in eSports, but BMW also sticks to the traditional avenues like motorsports. BMW has been known to get involved with Hollywood from time to time, like featuring its cars in James Bond movies, or more recently, the hit film Shang-Chi: The Legend Of The Ten Rings from Marvel Studios.
The fact that BMW continues to explore such non-traditional marketing strategies indicates that it seems to be working. BMW may be willing to experiment, but it would not pump resources into an unsuccessful campaign.
BMW Art Car program
Exploring marketing opportunities in pop culture is not a new strategy for BMW. For decades BMW Motorsports has joined with artists to create limited-edition racing liveries known as “art cars.” BMW’s art car program has effectively helped BMW reach a new audience by aligning themselves with personalities respected in the artist community. Each Art Car that has resulted from these partnerships has garnered significant positive publicity for BMW.
There is also the bonus that each Art Car tends to hit at the heart of the car enthusiast community as special BMW models are often chosen to be subjects of the Art Car program. Who can forget the BMW M1 Art Car by Andy Warhol? Then there is the legendary widebody BMW 3.0 CSL Art Car by Alexander Calder.
Jeff Koons M3 GT2 Art Car
Depending on your interests, the name Jeff Koons may sound familiar, or it may not. Koons is an American artist known for addressing pop culture and his giant sculptures of balloon animals made from steel and polished to a mirror finish. Koons’ art is very distinctive, if nothing else, which has proven to be an advantage for the artist as his work is easily recognizable and distinctive.
In 2010 Koons was tapped to create an Art Car livery applied to a BMW M3 GT2 race car. Koons’ creation for the M3 was a bold display of streaking colors. If we had to compare, we would say to imagine a rainbow version of the “lightspeed” effect from Star Wars. It may sound strange, but the final result is visually impressive, especially when seen on a race car at speed.
Jeff Koons teases his next Art Car
Koons’ original M3 GT2 Art Car was so successful that BMW had asked the artist to return to create another. This time, BMW is doing things differently. Artists generally did previous Art Car liveries on race cars. This time Koons will be producing an original creation that is based on a road car. Specifically, the BMW M850i xDrive Grand Coupe.
“I am really thrilled and honoured about the opportunity to work with BMW again and to create a special edition car,” said Koons. “I was thinking very intensely about it: What is the essence of the 8 Series Gran Coupe? What is the essence of power? How to create something that exemplifies all the energy of the BMW 8 Series that is also able to touch upon the human element? Again, it’s just a wonderful opportunity to be working as part of the BMW family again.”
The car will be revealed next year, February 2022, during a ceremony in Munich, Germany. So, we’ll have to wait until then to see what Koons has come up with. It will be interesting to see his take on a road car.