BMW used “the Internet” to sneak in URL for Super Bowl ad

I was truly fascinated that a car company adopted a 21-year old news clip to promote its brand during the Super Bowl. This while other car companies did the same-old, same old car shots.

I am talking about the BMW I-3 commercial, featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. This one:

Piecing together conversations from the behind-the-scenes interviews on the set, and looking at the two videos (the flash-back shot in the commercial, and the unedited video clip from 1994) it is interesting to see what clever editing was involved. Green-screens, and inserts.

Gumbel and Couric sound genuinely lame, as most of us were about this thing called the Internet in 2004. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) most of us don’t have archive footage of our conversations, when we first encountered the weird string of colon and slashes that were called ‘addresses.’

Around 2007, I recall a very prominent thought leader in marketing and communications similarly question the purpose of Twitter, and its @ sign, of course.

But back to the BMW ad, you may have noticed an email address that slashed briefly on the cutaway shot, as if Gumbel is reading it. (They sliced in his voice to read the address, as if he did it in 1994. BUT, the actual address he read was (You could see the clip here.) Also quaintly, the ‘at sign’ in this clip is a circle around the a, not a continuous line connecting the a.

The neat trick is that the email address domain is a promotional website for curious folk who thought they’d check it out – and I did, because I suspected the ad agency was not going to let that one pass.

Check it out for yourself! There’s probably a one-in-a-million chance of winning the car, but hey!

“In what respect, Charlie?” reveals poor grasp of media

Hard not to feel bad for Sarah Palin.

She’s completely rattled by the media, and does not have the instincts or training to push back.

Her response to Charlie Gibson on his question about whether she understands the Bush Doctrine, with the question, “in what respect, Charlie?” revealed two things:

  1. She was clueless and probably had never heard the term before.
  2. She was dumb enough to take the bait and succumb to the question whose sub-text was “prove to me you’ve done your homework.”

With Katie Couric she appeared to simply be following instructions & talking points by repeating her answer when unable to clarify a follow-up question. That was before she swung into operation-Putin, about him flying into U.S. airspace. She was also not ready with specific examples. “I will try to find you some…” is NOT an answer!

It’s easy to see the urgent need for media training. But more than that, she need media understanding. Anticipating what the interview might be looking for and coming prepared with it.

Let’s hope that in the next few days someone will give her some proper media training. Memo to governor Palin: There’s plenty of free advice out there, if the McCain campaign has no time for this. Here are just two.