While the debate rages on as to whether cars can truly qualify as works of art, BMW long ago neatly side-stepped the conversation by having renowned artists use their cars as blank canvases. It was a genial move on the company’s behalf, although they have French racer herve Poulain to thank for kicking things off in 1975 when he told his friend Alexander Calder to go, ahem, go to work on a 3.0 CSL, the looks of which were already quite spectacular.
On through the years did the BMW Art Cars project continue, with luminaries such as Warhol, Rauschenberg, Stella, Lichtenstein and, most recently, Koons all getting a stab at creating the fastest art you’ve ever seen. It’s only appropriate that we should all salute the vision and quality of such an enterprise. And ask for more.
Well, BMW didn’t stay stuck in the artiste studio. They moved on and commissioned a series that still rouses us a decade later: The Hire. A handful of famous directors made eight films for the internet featuring a fresh and credible Clive Owen as the Driver, and a selection of BMW models doing what they do best: driving.
So, what’s all this got to do with some BMW M5 getting shot out of a barrel and into an apple, three water-balloons and a target? Well, this marks the latest “art” ad from BMW – their Canada branch to be specific. And instead of pure art or film-derived art, we are now being presented with high performance art.
Thanks to a large salt lake backdrop, lots of CGI assistance, some delightful slow-mo and the all-new, toe-curling BMW M5, we’ve been advised the bar has been lifted even higher. Except, well, has it really?
Sure, the concept is great fun, the imagery entertaining and watching the M5 become the automotive equivalent of a turbo-charged arrow/bullet is so very primal. But is this a case of aiming too high and missing? Surely when you really want to engage folk you need to dispense with the assistance and the gimmicks and focus on the drive.
Maybe that’s why we started you off with the High Performance Art ad but ended with a tale that hits all the buttons without every pulling a punch, or resorting to a little digital trickery. It’s: The Hire – Star.
And watching Madonna wet her pants (with coffee, bien sur) after an M5 goes absolutely wild is everything we could ever want from BMW. From any BMW.
BMW “High Performance Art” ad reminds us of how an M5 should be used
BMW Canada release a high performance art ad of the new M5 that amuses us, for a while. Before we remember what an M5 should really do: get Madonna to wet her pants.
Read other articles about:
best car ads, BMW, BMW advertising, BMW Canada, BMW Driven, BMW High Performance Art, BMW M5, Clive Owen, Guy Ritchie, High Performance Art, Madonna, Star, The Hire, The Hire - Star
Eric (AKA Straight-Six) had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.
Contact the author