Most of you may not have heard of the Shorty Awards, but you have most likely seen the work that has won them. The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and the rest of the social Web. This year BMW USA, and their partner kbs+, has been nominated twice in the Best Use of Social Media in the Auto Industry for their Eli's BMW Dream Car and the BMW 4 Series Un4gettable Weekend campaigns.
Eli's BMW started out as a Jalopnik post where a 4-year old boy described his dream car to his uncle and he in turn went to the internet to see if there were any artists that would sketch up this concept vehicle. Here were Eli's requirements:
- It's a BMW.
- 42 wheels, and of course 42-wheel drive.
- It is powered by 19 engines, each producing 459 horsepower.
- There are three seats and three steering wheels, and all three can drive the car at the same time.
- The trunk is full of toys and you can play in it.
Eli's uncle came up with the model name "4219Eli", for it's 42 wheels, 19 engines, and extra long wheelbase, and fuel injection.
BMW didn't just respond by posting a "Thank You" comment or sharing the story's link, they produced an official concept drawing. The post on their Facebook wall produced almost 8,000 likes and over 3,500 reshares, totaling over 11.6 million impressions in 1 week! To top it off, they sent Eli his own gallery quality print of his one of a kind car.
See Eli’s BMW nomination here: http://industry.shortyawards.com/category/6th_annual/auto/j1/elis-bmw
As spur of the moment as Eli's Dream Car was, their second nomination was a fantastically planned and executed campaign that connected well with their most devoted fans. With the all-new 4 Series about to launch, BMW purists were not pleased with BMW for breaking up the long-time favorite 3 Series models. So they scoured the internet to find two fans that had been very vocal about their love of the brand, and treated them to an Un4gettable Weekend with a couple of the very first BMW 4 Series on US soil.
They tracked down Nathan Risch, who had been very active displaying his love of the brand on multiple social channels, and Rashed Haque, who had been highly involved on automotive forums. On the west coast, Nathan was treated to a weekend in Palm Springs where he got to tour the sights, which produced quite a few photo opportunities, and was given some private track time at the new and exclusive Thermal Club. At the same time, but on the east coast, Rashed was surprised at his home with the 4 Series waiting for him in his garage. He was taken on scenic drives through rural Virginia back-roads which ended up at the track where BMW’s Chief Driving Instructor was waiting for him.
Throughout the whole weekend, Nathan created images and videos that were spread across BMW’s social media channels, and Rashed produced an 8-page long review of the weekend for the blogging community. Instead of BMW telling the fans it was ok that they were breaking up the 3 Series line, they let true fans tell the followers that the all-new BMW 4 Series was a true BMW. Look for a behind-the-scenes article from Nathan in a future Roundel article.
See the Un4gettable Weekend nomination here: http://industry.shortyawards.com/category/6th_annual/auto/jK/bmw-4-series-un4gettable-weekend
The 6th annual Shorty Awards ceremony will be held in New York City and livestreamed on the web on April 7, 2014. Good luck to BMW USA and their partner kbs+!—Nate Risch
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