Blog: Dave LeggettBMW's driving joy

Dave Leggett | 3 October 2009

BMW tends to produce pretty slick marketing campaigns and some past ones have been very, very good (like the short films online they did a few years ago).

And I can see where they are going with the latest campaign aimed at communicating the joy of driving and the clever technology that makes the cars surprisingly efficient. It's about communicating the multi-faceted pleasure that owning/driving a BMW brings. Fair enough. But while I agree that BMWs are products that make you feel good to drive (mainly), who actually drives along grinning like a delirious madman? Jeremy Clarkson describes it well in his Sunday Times column. I know for a fact that I would win prizes were there a competition for looking-gormless-while-driving: 

You may have noticed that all actors smile constantly while driving in a car commercial. This is ridiculous. No one smiles while driving, unless Clement Freud is on the radio, and he isn’t any more, because he died.

I urge you all to look next time you’re on the road. Anyone driving alone is pulling exactly the same face. It’s a zombie face. The face of someone who’s medically alive but is actually dead. It’s a face I imagine prisoners pull when in solitary confinement.

Out of a car, Stephen Fry appears to be interested, intelligent and alert. In a car, he looks as gormless as a scolded dog. We all do. You never see this in commercials, though. Because in a commercial the actor’s whole being is 90% teeth, and his eyes are sparkling like a rippled sea at sunset. He is delirious with pleasure, not because he’s just thought of something funny or seen a hippopotamus in dungarees going the other way. No. Rather preposterously, he’s delirious because he is enjoying the act of driving so much.

BMW 135i M Sport convertible


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