No Risk: No Fun

BMW Art Cars

Strange, and a bit of a shame that so many BMWs that you pass on the roads are black, or worse: battleship grey.

Strange because, when you consider the lengths that BMW has gone to in the past to differentiate itself from Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Audi and other luxury car brands, it’s apparent that the organisation is far from the taciturn, Teutonic engineering automaton that most perceive it to be.

In the 1970s, some very visionary marketing people were determined to demonstrate that an essential trait of BMW is its commitment to innovation, creativity, and design. They began the Art Car programme which includes works by some of the world’s most renowned artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, and Jeff Koons.

The programme now comprises an irreplaceable collection of 19 fully functional vehicles, each with its own unique design and story.

By commissioning these works of art, BMW demonstrated its willingness to experiment and take risks in order to clearly distinguish the brand from its competitors. The brand also became unique, beautiful and human, blending together the concepts of design and technology.

As we blindly rush through an era in which so much of our brand experience is AI generated, and so much advertising is utterly soulless, it’s worth reminding ourselves that it’s human experience and human emotion that creates brand connection…

A small selection of the amazing Art Cars is shown here. They can be seen in the flesh at the BMW Museum in Munich, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Louvre in Paris.

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