What’s On

Taking cue from WestJet, now BMW surprises its consumers in India

  • BMW India surprised its potential consumers who came for a test drive, and released video of consumer delight
  • This video hints at the customer-centric and delight proposition for the brand,
  • BMW's local sales have seen a 22 per cent drop over the past year in India

Brands surprising consumers is taking off in a big way globally, latest on the block being BMW India, which surprised its potential customers who requested a test drive.

BMW Financial Services recently released the video – ’The Ultimate Test Drive Surprise’ – in which ten unsuspecting families taking what seemed like a run of the mill test drive, are featured. What the families didn’t realise was that they were being captured on hidden camera. As the test drive progressed, the families were met with little schoolgirls, ballet dancers and even a lifesize live orchestra, wishing them well. This pleasantly surprised the test driving families. The culmination of the drive proved a big spike in the video, where the families were treated with a grand celebration, making the potential consumers actually feel like Kings. Cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar greets them in the final moments of the video, thus capturing their genuine emotions of surprise and bewilderment.

So far (in 15 hours since the release) the video has clocked close to 40,000 views on YouTube and Twitter, Facebook have initiated the discussions, giving the brand a thumbs up. This video has been solely released online, which reiterates the importance of digital channels for brands.

Consumer delight central to brand loyalty
Advertising agencies and brands have long spoken about how “The Consumer Is King” and this has never been more apparent than in this age of social media. Social platforms are amplifying brand surprise in a big way, the most recent example being that of of the viral video of Canadian airline WestJet that surprised its flyers released during the holiday season.

The results of a study conducted by Microsoft said that more than half of online consumers worldwide (61 per cent) are more likely to buy from brands if they are “surprised” by serendipitous encounters that recognise the context in which they are using their technology. BMW India hopes to be successful in upping the surprise quotient of its brand, with this gesture.

BMW repositioning as ‘customer-centric’?
Currently, the luxury car market in India stands at about 30,000-35,000 luxury cars per year. A tripoly market situation is created in India with competition among the three leading German players, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. In a developing trend, all the three brands have been aggressively wooing the 30-something consumer and the sub-INR 25 lakh range. However, BMW’s local sales have seen a 22 per cent drop over the past year, during which time Audi announced selling over 10,000 units. In the luxury car race in India, BMW currently occupies the third spot, after Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Sachin Tendulkar had unveiled the BMW 1-Series in India few months back,

This video hints at the customer-centric and delight proposition for the brand, which humanises itself with the element of surprise, as seen in the video. Whether it will translate into brand amplification and subsequent sales, is something to watch out for.