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Why BMWs are Often Featured in Television and Movies

Most BMW enthusiasts notice when a movie or TV show features a Bimmer, but have you ever wondered why they’re so often used? Bimmers have been featured in all kinds of movies and television shows, including James Bond movies, Ronin (E34 M5), The Transporter (E38 7-Series), Mission Impossible: Fallout (E28 5-Series), some Marvel movies, and many others.

If you’ve ever wondered why so many action movies choose BMW over other makes, here are some reasons.

BMW paid for placements

Perhaps the most obvious reason we see so many BMWs in movies and TV shows is simply because BMW pays for placements. Some of those placements have become iconic over the years, like with a handful of James Bond movies.

If you’ve ever watched some of the original James Bond movies starring Pierce Brosnan, you may have noticed that Bond drove Bimmers, not Aston Martins, like he does in the more recent movies. In fact, the first time 007 sat behind the wheel of a BMW was in GoldenEye, which happens to have been Brosnan’s first Bond movie. It was a baby blue BMW Z3 armed with missiles and a parachute, and he only drove it for about 30 seconds.

Later on, in Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond drove an E38 750iL, but not in the typical way. He controlled the car remotely from the back seat to escape the bad guys before destroying it by driving it off a parking garage roof.

It’s sad to see a BMW destroyed in a movie, but it makes for amazing scenes. For instance, in The World is Not Enough, Bond used his Z8 to take down an enemy helicopter, only to have his car get sawed in half by another enemy helicopter equipped with a giant saw.

BMW reportedly paid around $110 million to supply cars for GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World is Not Enough. However, Aston Martin eventually outbid them and as of Die Another Day, Bond doesn’t drive Bimmers anymore.

BMW presents an impressive brand

The BMW brand is synonymous with luxury and sophistication. Whether or not that’s just marketing hype doesn’t matter – that’s how people experience the brand.

When filmmakers want to impress their audience, everything is chosen intentionally, even cars that are only visible for a split-second parked on the side of the road. Knowing that even a momentary visual is enough to influence, filmmakers are intentional about choosing the cars their main characters drive. For films like the James Bond series, the main character is high class, wealthy, brave, and unstoppable. Naturally, BMW was a great fit for his character in the early movies.

By getting placements in the James Bond movies, BMW knew people would start to associate their cars with the amazingness that is James Bond, and that has the power to influence sales. In fact, BMW created a series of short action films called The Hire with world-renowned directors and A-list celebrities, all with the intention of influencing more sales.

Another reason people find BMWs impressive is because there are so many celebrities that drive them, even outside of their main Hollywood roles. For example, when the BMW Hydrogen 7 (H7) was released, Angelina Jolie quickly bought one. Someone snapped a photo of her and Brad Pitt pulling up to the Premiere of Ocean’s 13 in their new H7.

Everything celebrities do, including what they wear and the cars they drive, can influence their fans. The more celebrities drive BMWs out in society, the more their fans will feel like Bimmers are a good option for a car. After so much exposure, many people eventually end up buying the cars their celebrity heroes drive, even if it’s a subconscious choice. That’s just basic marketing at work. Contrary to what many people have heard, it’s not that expensive to own and maintain a BMW. There are plenty of local shops that specialize in luxury makes like BMW, Mini Cooper, and Mercedes-Benz.

Product placements are effective

Not every advertisement is overt and designed to generate sales. Many ads are simply product placements on the big screen. The data shows that this type of advertising is effective. In one study, 63% of participants reported feeling positive emotions after viewing a specific product in a movie or on TV. That same study concluded that 47% of people like to see their favorite brands featured in movies and television shows. All of this contributes to an overall positive experience of the brand being featured.

Movies and TV are all about the profits

At the end of the day, filmmakers will use products and brands that help them achieve their profit goals. For brands like BMW that are already established, all it takes is money to get those placements. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, but rest assured, it’s all intentional.

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