Joy: Makes Me Sad

I am going to hop on up on my soapbox and shout that “Joy ” is making me sad. That ‘s right, I am sad due to the latest marketing campaign from the Fatherland.

I was ok with a Z4 being relaunched for a different cushier market with the aid of a remote control and some paint. The use of the Z4 to express Joy as an art car (literally this time around), was just fine with me as BMW has been known to produce cars as art pieces. The next step was the X1 and the “Joy ” that it entailed, we in the US won ‘t see that model for a while so I was not too worried about a “Joy ” invasion.

It looks from the latest advertisement that the brand as a whole is being engulfed by all this joy. Are they forgetting the “Ultimate Driving Machine ” we have grown to love and been enthusiastic about for so long? I hope not but that is why I am sad. If the marketing machine (who also supplies Kool-Aid to some) is moving away from thinking BMW is all about the drive then what will the future engineers really be designing?

Lexus has become the next Buick; the average age of their buyer has increased to near AARP levels because they have focussed on comfort, reliability and all those things that bring the masses joy. Does anyone ever even use the word joy? Seriously, the only time I use or hear it is during the holidays or talking about this ad campaign.We are not the masses and while BMWs make us smile and give us an adrenaline rush, they bring a lot more than that- Drinking an Augustiner Edelstoff Helles makes me smile as well but you will never see that beer forget what makes it the best- tradition and purity just to name a few, BMW is not all that different. I hope BMW has not forgotten that and does not turn into Bud Light Lime.

I will hop off my box now and state that BMWNA has not fully adapted this campaign so there still is a chance for us… still a chance. (The aforementioned views may be those of the author and may or may not express those of

Click on for the video that caused this soapbox rant-


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  • RJ

    Dunno….I like the commercial…makes me feel very happy!!!! 🙂

  • The ad is fine, it is well done…. it is the message I am afraid of. A car can bring Joy without driving well- add a vibrating seat.


  • Bimmer1

    The reason you are starting to see the “Joy” tag being used is b/c in europe that is and has been the tag line for BMW. There is no “Ultimate Driving Machine” line used over there. That’s strictly BMWNA verbage.

  • In EU it was more “freude am fahren” if I am not mistaken, which roughly translates to the joy of the drive/ driving pleasure (My German may be a bit off there). To me that is just fine as well since it is about the drive. This seems to be a more general concept of joy, and that is what annoys me.

    I don’t know; it is probably just me. I just feel like this campaign is less individual, and more about POP culture.

    And this is starting to be seen more here in the US, the Z4 started it; not sure what will happen in the future.. (also a nice way to gets some good opinions on this campaign 😉 )

  • Neely

    I think the commercial is fresh and especially appealing. The use of older classic models shows the heritage and progression of the line and should appear to a range of BMW addicts. While I own the new X5d and love it, would you rather see more florescent light “Efficient Dynamics” ads? Not me. Thumbs up on this one, BMW.

  • JonPD

    A perfect commercial and message for the 70 year old buyer they are building cars for (see the GT).

    To me this message comes across lacking any masculinity, feels like “Joy” pretty much is aimed at the female half of the species. Lets hope this is short lived.

  • Jeff

    Jeremy Clarkson is also not impressed with BMW’s “Joy” campaign:

    Neither is he impressed with the 135i Vert.


    The marketing slogan Freude Am Fahren dates back to 1961 when it first appeared as “Aus Freude Am Fahren” on flyers at the Internationale Autmobil Ausstellung-Frankfurt created by Burkhard Bovensipen, the founder of Alpina. It was formerly introduced as a BMW marketing slogan in 1966 for the Neue Klass BMW 1600 model and has continued to be used in the brands European marketing. Other similar market specific tag lines such as “Sheer Driving Pleasure” and “The Ultimate Driving Machine” are used. The latter was created by the advertising agency Ammirati & Puris under the direction of Bob Lutz, BMW NA Executive Vice President of Sales, who played a vital role in strengthening the BMW brand in America. The slogan debuted in 1972 with the introduction of the 2002 model.

    The “Expression of Joy” marketing campaign is an English adaption of BMW heritage as the slogan “Freude Am Fahren” translates into: Joy in Driving.

    Best, RCBMW

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