BMW Does It! BMW i8 Commercial Shows What An Electric Car Commercial … – CleanTechnica

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014

BMW Does It! BMW i8 Commercial Shows What An Electric Car Commercial Should Be

Published on May 18th, 2014 |
by Zachary Shahan


As many of you know, I’m not a fan of how electric cars have historically been advertised. My favorites to date are probably a 2013 Chevy Spark EV commercial, Nissan & Renault’s “Gas Powered Everything” commercial, and BMW’s Olympics commercials for the BMW i3 and i8. But most commercials for electric vehicles are boring, uninteresting, and downright crappy. BMW is now showing that its Olympics commercials weren’t a blip. Its new BMW i8 commercial absolutely rocks it. This is what electric car commercials need to be.

Why do I love this commercial so much? It makes the i8 look hot, sexy, totally awesome, badass but “good,” epic, cool… desirable!

Furthermore, it’s human. When I give speeches about how to become a popular, effective blogger, I focus a lot on the importance of being personal and making a human connection with your audience. BMW just made the i8 human, and a totally awesome human that resembles James Bond, Indiana Jones, or Ethan Hunt.

All of this is not always what sells, but this is often what sells, or at least what plants that first (important) desire in the heart of the consumer. And once you’ve got one potential buyer emotionally hooked, she or he can then find out about the excellent practical benefits of the car… and pass on that info on to the more practically minded partner of theirs that might not have been pulled in by the commercial.

Will it work for everyone? No. But it will work for many (especially when it’s used for an affordable electric car not a $136,000 sports car).

And as much as many of us like to think that we aren’t swayed by advertising and overt efforts to manipulate our emotions and desires, we are often subtly influenced by such things.

I’ll admit it that this single, 1-minute ad from BMW makes me more interested in buying a BMW. This commercial strongly reinforces my opinion that BMW is serious about electric cars. This commercial tells me that BMW gets it. The commercial tells me that BMW wants to create and sell awesome electric cars. Maybe it was just the advertising team that got it, but I am inclined to believe it goes deeper, especially with other knowledge about the company.

Does BMW get it as much as Tesla? No, of course not. But if I were in the market for an electric car cheaper than the Model S but more expensive and decked out than the Nissan LEAF, there’s only one option that comes to mind.

It will be interesting to see if BMW retains its leadership in both the production as well as the advertising of electric cars.

Check out many more electric car commercials here: 28 Electrified Vehicles, 47 Electrified Vehicle Videos (Commercials, Reviews, Etc.)

h/t Gas2

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • So weird performance glitches as it juggles complex inputs and outputs, uses gas and pumps fake engine sounds through the stereo to compensate for both having a noisy engine and not having a noisy enough engine. Still needs oils changes etc. no luggage room, only dwarves can fit in back seats and only people with good knees and strong legs can get in and out of it.

    The video is just a bit odd in my opinion because it pretends that it’s an electric car from the ground up.

    Better than the I3 but a long way from the Tesla and I say that as a guy with a multi-decade BMW habit.

    • “The video is just a bit odd in my opinion because it pretends that it’s an electric car from the ground up.”

      Definitely agree that it’s a bit odd that the i8 is the car advertised here, but I think the ad itself is excellent.

      Personally, I think the i3 is better. Of course, the i8 has specs that make it better, but it’s impractical, has a tiny amount of electric range, and is massively overpriced. I think the i3 fits well in its price category — between the Model S and the Nissan Leaf. If someone doesn’t have enough for the Model S, the i3 is the best electric option on the market.

  • “Born electric” but raised on pure hydrocarbons. Actual electric range when driven “as designed” is less than 10 miles. PLEASE!

    • Yes, I did have a bit of a snide chuckle when I heard him say “born electric” in this ad. :D

      But, ignoring the limitations of the featured car, the ad is awesome.

  • Hybrids don’t do anything to support the installation of recharging points, which only pure evs need. Germany, without a significant pure ev carmaker, naturally lags on this.

    • Well, there’s now the BMW i3, VW e-Up!, VW e-Golf, and smart electric drive. But most of these have just hit the market.

    • They had a record month in April in Germany with over 1000 EVs sold for the first time. And 83,5% of those were pure electric.
      So there is hope for recharging points coming as a result of the demand.

  • It’s a start… but if only it had at least 2 timer or 3 times the battery capacity so it could do a decent trip on electricity only.

    • or even decent speed. 0-30mph my Diesel will beat this car in pure electric, that is just not good enough.

    • Yep, wasn’t really commenting on the car, primarily just the ad.

      • Yes, and the ad is brilliant. It gave me goose bumps. It’s just a bit sad that the perfect ad for an electric car is for a short range PHEV.

  • I agree, a fantastic video. Only a pity that the car itself is just a gasoline one. :(.

    • Yeah.


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