In a masterful blend of tradition and contemporary marketing, BMW China has launched ‘Project Jupiter’, a campaign that marries the age-old Chinese cultural beliefs surrounding the Lunar New Year with the brand’s cutting-edge approach to engagement. In collaboration with TBWA Juice Beijing and TBWA BOLT Shanghai, this initiative is a playful nod to the uncertainties of the ‘Ben Ming Nian’—a year of unpredictability for those born under the zodiac sign of the Dragon, coincidentally including BMW itself, founded in 1916, a Dragon year.
Navigating Tradition with a Modern Twist
The campaign’s centerpiece, a 14-minute mockumentary, cleverly addresses the superstitions of ‘Ben Ming Nian’. It humorously suggests that BMW, too, faces a year of uncertainty due to its Dragon birth year. Yet, rather than avoiding these superstitions, ‘Project Jupiter’ leans into them, proposing a campaign of good fortune that defies zodiacal challenges, aiming to bring luck to all, regardless of their astrological sign.
The Red Luck Theory
Central to Chinese New Year traditions is the belief in the power of the color red to ward off bad luck and usher in prosperity. BMW China takes this belief to heart, embarking on an ambitious transformation of its global headquarters and increasing the production of red vehicles. The campaign extends this theme, with employees and customers encouraged to don the auspicious color, and special red-themed decoration kits and merchandising packs distributed to amplify the good luck message.
Star Power and Storytelling
Featuring notable personalities like actors Jackson Yee and Yang Haoyu, ‘Project Jupiter’ goes beyond mere advertising. It ventures into storytelling, with four hero characters leading the audience through a narrative that is as engaging as it is enlightening. This approach not only entertains but also deepens the brand’s connection with its audience, weaving BMW into the cultural fabric of the Lunar New Year celebration.
A Campaign Spanning Multiple Platforms
With a multi-faceted dissemination strategy, ‘Project Jupiter’ reaches audiences across cinema, online TV, social media, digital platforms, and through dealership and retail channels. This extensive coverage ensures the campaign’s message of innovation, joy, and cultural reverence is experienced by a broad audience.
A Testament to Cultural Integration
Stéphane Koeppel, VP of brand management at BMW China, reflects on the campaign’s deeper significance: “Celebrating Chinese culture, with its rich stories and superstitions, has always been integral to our brand. ‘Project Jupiter’ is our latest endeavor to connect with this culture, bringing joy and good fortune to the Lunar New Year.”
Ronnie Wu, chief creative officer at TBWA China, highlights the creative challenge and opportunity: “Navigating the Lunar New Year’s superstitious landscape presented a unique opportunity for BMW to affirm its respect for Chinese traditions while infusing the campaign with humor and joy.”
Through ‘Project Jupiter’, BMW China not only showcases its innovative approach to marketing but also affirms its deep respect for and integration with Chinese cultural traditions. This campaign stands as a beacon of how modern brands can engage with traditional beliefs in a way that is both respectful and refreshing.