ECD Carsten Fillinger on getting motorcyclists to embrace the adventures on their doorsteps
BMW Motorrad (Motorcycles) has just launched its first adventure bike that’s below 500cc. To celebrate its differences from the manufacturer’s more powerful models, this launch campaign from VCCP Berlin has shied away from stories of arduous tours through deserts and mountains, and instead celebrates ‘Everyday Adventures’. The team headed to South Africa in search of the perfect shoot locations but also the perfect candidates to front the campaign, eventually documenting the adventures of musician Brad Klynsmith and photographer and blogger Fhatuwani Mukheli and his artist collective ‘I See A Different You’.
LBB’s Addison Capper spoke with VCCP Berlin’s Executive Creative Director Carsten Fillinger to find out more.
LBB> What was the brief for this campaign and what were you thinking when you first saw it?
CF> A new BMW Motorrad product always needs its own space within the “Make Life a Ride” narrative. Our Creative Director Sebastian Oehme and his creative team are always super excited to find a new and distinctive angle whilst keeping the special tone of voice of the series.
LBB> What’s the strategic thinking behind Everyday Adventures? What’s the message you’re looking to portray?
CF> In terms of CC the G 310 GS is the smallest bike in the GS range – a new market.
GS stands for the once in a lifetime adventures - like riding through the desert or the jungle, going real off-road. The G 310 GS is for the spontaneous, unplanned adventures you can have everyday. May it be in your city our around it.
LBB> What kind of research and insight went into the campaign?
CF> The homework. Who would buy this bike? Who are they as a person? How can we connect?
LBB> You’ve enlisted a number of people to star in this campaign - who are they and why were they the perfect fit to embody the brand?
CF> It’s always a challenge to find the right people because an interesting life story and, at least, some kind of social media following is not enough. These people also needed to ride motorcycles. We had figured out South Africa, which is a big market for the bike, as a shooting location early in the process, so we were focusing our search on people from that area.
The team found Fhatuwani quite early. Born and raised in Soweto, he aims to express his roots through photographs and film and has built a creative community from Soweto.
Then Brad, a surfer and musician, also came along. They were the right characters, with interesting stories they were able to tell in front of a camera.
But then, by chance, the team stumbled across Anton, who is featured in the teaser and Brad’s episode. They discovered him as they were looking for a surf shop for Brad to get his custom made board from.
It’s a lot of research, a little bit of luck, and natural communities you tap into.
LBB> This is a big campaign with numerous films, interviews, etc. that will mostly be spread on social why was this the right approach as opposed to a more traditional TV campaign?
CF> The bike is built for younger riders who want to get into off-road or who are buying their first motorcycle and are looking for a bike that’s versatile. TV doesn’t feel like the right channel, especially as we’re talking about motorcycles and not cars. That also means we have different budgets, so you have to be smart. Fortunately our client also believes that well produced content will get you noticed – no matter the media budget.
LBB> A lot of it is set in and around Cape Town - why is that?
CF> Time of the year and the obvious weather issue aside, Cape Town was a conscious decision in terms of creative. A city with interesting urban backdrop but also great outdoor locations within short reach. Cape Town is also home to one of the bigger official BMW Motorrad dealerships, Donford. This helped us a lot during the shoot.
LBB> There’s an interactive element to this campaign - can you tell us about that?
CF> Both episodes, Brad’s and Fhatuwani’s, will give the user the option to dive a bit deeper into their experience. For Brad we filmed a beautiful, curvy mountain road pass from different camera angles, enabling the user to switch between them during the ride.
For Fhatuwani we created a 360° experience at their camping site, overlooking Cape Town.
LBB> Why was Maceo Frost the right director to bring this campaign to life?
CF> Our Head of Production, Michael Opitz and creative director Sebastian loved Maceo’s work, such as ‘Ishtar’, a beautifully shot piece about long-boarding on mountain passes. They were introduced to him by friends at BWGTBLD (the production company) one day. They instantly clicked. Working with Maceo and Jacob Møller, the DP on this project, was a true pleasure. Both have a true passion and love for making films.
LBB> What were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?
CF> The trickiest bits were shooting the off-road parts with the bikes, especially the one at the lake where the bike is pulling Brad on the surfboard. The team had only two prototype bikes, one of each colour way – so if anything had happened to the bikes, it would
have meant not being able to continue shooting. But it all went fine.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
CF> I think in the end it all comes down to a team that shares the same passion, not just for delivering another piece of advertising but something that feels different. It is a great team here at VCCP, and I am really proud of them. They chose Maceo because, although he didn’t have a lot of commercial work on his reel, they loved his beautiful and inspiring documentaries. They trusted him and our client BMW Motorrad supported that decision. Shared passion, a great ride. There you go.