BMW launched its new X5 sport-utility in the UK last week with a dramatic TV commercial featuring a daredevil street luger.
'Street luging' is the tarmac cousin of a wild winter sport called ice luging. Riders lie flat on their backs atop small, wheeled sleds. Speeds can reach more than 100kph.
The BMW campaign started on October 17. It was created by advertising agency WCRS in London.
The commercial opens in a mountain range on a treacherous road with fierce hairpin bends. A street luger in a silver racing suit speeds through the curves as he travels feet-first down a mountain.
Suddenly, a black X5 appears on screen. It accelerates to catch up with the luger, and then drives straight over him - a feat made possible by the X5's high ride height.
After the X5 has passed over him, the luger sits up and brakes hard with his feet scraping the road surface. The X5 disappears in the distance and a voiceover says: 'The ultimate sports-activity vehicle. The new BMW four-wheel-drive X5.'
Nick Hart, brand communications manager at BMW (GB), said: 'This campaign cleverly communicates the driving excitement of the X5.'
The TV commercial is being supported by press advertisements that continue the 'sports-activity' theme by showing skiers, canoeists and mountain bikers together with the X5.
So far, the 6 million (E10.2 million) X5 campaign is only for the UK. But Jeremy Hemmings, group account director at WCRS, said: 'Some of our previous work for BMW has rolled out in other countries. Our commercial for the BMW M Coupe was screened in the UK in January. By Easter it was being shown in Italy, eastern Europe - and even Australia. There's every chance the X5 campaign could do the same.'
Hemmings said the X5 commercial would be suitable for use in non-English speaking countries because it relies solely on visual impact without the aid of music or lengthy voiceovers.