"Joy" was already a catch phrase in most of BMW's world. In Germany, "The Joy of Driving" has been a slogan that is well known throughout the country.
BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson, 52, instructed his team to take that message around the world late last year, spreading “Joy” to other markets, including Asia and North America, where it teamed with a new ad agency and shifted the campaign to appeal to a wider audience.
The ad work, won by the U.S. firm GSD&M, represented the first time BMW had one agency globally. The ads were the most expensive North American brand campaign in BMW history and set the automaker on a new and more aggressive marketing course.
The “Story of Joy” campaign launched during the opening ceremony of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, and marked the largest luxury automotive spending of the Games. It showed BMW owners and their cars and served as the umbrella for the automaker's global communications.
It introduced a new creative aesthetic characterized by strong, colorful images often conveying people and their experiences with the subtlest of references to BMW products punctuated by various three-word headlines leading off with “Joy Is …”
BMW eventually integrated “Joy” into TV commercials, the Internet, billboards and in print advertisements. In Singapore, BMW even went 3-D with its advertisements.
BMW said the new brand campaign was designed for consistent use worldwide: through the theme of “Joy” it focuses on two main points — the efficient dynamics and the aesthetic design of BMW brand vehicles.