Blast from the past: BMW i3 ad takes us back to when the internet was new

29.01.2015 BMW : I3 : The New Value Economy
Newfangled Idea Advert for BMW i3, Germany

US – BMW has taken a playful look back at a time when the internet was new, showing us how big ideas can take a little getting used to.

In the ad 'Newfangled Idea' for its luxury electric car the i3, BMW has used footage from AM America recorded some 20 years ago in which the hosts, broadcast journalists Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric, struggled to explain what the internet is. Caught in a debate about the pronunciation of the ‘@’ symbol, the pair muddle their way through the show before being forced to call their producer live on air to ask for help. ‘What is the internet anyway? Can you write to it like mail?’ cries Gumbel.

Now, 21 years later, they’re back, and this time it is the concept of electric vehicles that is the focus. Sat in the i3, Gumbel and Couric ask with incredulity why the car does not have an engine under the bonnet and whether a car can be powered by wind.

For more on the importance of positioning a brand as a platform for change, read our Insight article on Added Value’s 2014 Vibe Index.

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