NEW YORK: BMW is cementing its reputation as an innovative automaker by using leading-edge advertising techniques, most recently by enabling viewers with smart TVs to interact with its ads via their remote controls.

In a new ad for its X1 model, viewers can scroll through vehicle colour options in a strip like a banner ad that appears at the bottom of the screen; an alternative version allows them to change the viewing angles to see all aspects of the car.

"The campaign is innovative, because it allows audiences to begin their showroom experience without getting off the couch," said Robert Aksman, cofounder of connected TV ad specialist BrightLine, which helped make the ad.

And, he added, it is "important because it takes advantage of the nationwide trend toward streaming TV behaviour".

He told Luxury Daily that "BMW is reaching audiences in all the ways that they now watch TV, and in effect demonstrating their cutting-edge car technology by using cutting-edge TV ad technology."

Pete Harmata, Digital Innovations Manager/BMW North America, give an insight into BMW's thinking around marketing innovation at South by Southwest earlier this year, when he outlined how the marque had used Periscope to launch its M2 premium coupé.

"We always want to add value to whatever we're doing," he said. "Is it something we can own? Is it a brand fit? Is it authentic? .… Can we show a new product feature in a unique way?"

Product features are increasingly important at the top-end of the market, as engine size and power drop down the hierarchy of purchase factors – so much so that when BMW was developing its new 7 series, marketers were involved alongside engineers and designers from the start of the process in order to ensure the technology contained in the vehicle was easy to use.

Interactive ads capable of demonstrating such features are presumably the next step in the evolution of this format. "Personalising TV advertising is the new frontier for marketers looking to exploit the rapid adoption of new connected viewing environments," Aksman stated.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff