BMW creates canvas with tire tracks

An all-encompassing media push for the Z4 Roadster combines traditional buys with unique Air Canada in-flight executions and a downloadable iPhone game.

BMW is driving its new Z4 Roadster promo across various platforms throughout the summer, from in-flight executions on Air Canada planes to the personal electronics that can interfere with their takeoff.

At the centre of the campaign, produced by Cundari, is an art motif. In a rather large and automotive version of fingerpainting, the Z4′s tires are used as a paintbrush on an enormous canvas made of medium-density fiberboard. Media executions for the tire-painting concept, handled by The Media Company, include television spots, OOH and print ads in magazines and the Globe and Mail.

In a nice twist, ads in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine, running from June 1 to June 30, depict the coloured tire tracks with the headline ‘The new BMW Z4′ – but not the vehicle itself. Instead, it directs readers to their seatback screens to watch a four-minute making-of video on the entertainment system’s sports channel. A 30-second spot will also run before a variety of programming on the seatback screens from June 1 until July 27.
‘In-flight there is an opportunity to capture the undivided attention of the consumer,’ says Marc Belcourt, brand communications manager, BMW Canada. The campaign’s target skewed male demo is affluent, middle-aged to older consumers (who are young at heart) as well as successful young individuals.

Meanwhile, the art theme is also present at, which links to iTunes where visitors can download the BMW Z4 – An Expression of Joy game for their iPhone or iTouch to take a virtual test drive and create their own tire painting art.

Print ads are more feature-focused. Newspaper creative featuring half-page colour executions run in the Globe and Mail this month with the headline, ‘A 300hp paintbrush.’ With an image of both the canvas motif and the Z4, the Autovision magazine ad reads ‘Evidence that engineering is an art form,’ while other magazines will feature the headline, ‘True Performance Art.’ Magazine executions will also run in NUVO and Lifestyles, highlighting the car’s aesthetic appeal.

A first installment of the TV spots, running on both French and English national conventional and specialty channels, run from May 4 to May 18, with the second installment running from June 22 until June 29. The 30-second spots will feature footage from the actual making of the canvas.

Focusing on news, sports and financial websites, 3D online ads highlight Z4 features like the retractable hard top, and will run from May 4 until July 27. A search component will also be used.

Billboards are also running from May until the end of August in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. To further the OOH presence, BMW is displaying a Z4 in front of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto, where the car sits atop a platform wrapped in tire-painted canvas. True Performance installation art?