BMW Group Canada uses Flash to drive traffic

BMW Group Canada says Flash software may become its marketing vehicle of choice following its successful online campaign for the Mini Cooper.

The company said it managed to increase traffic to its Web site 100 per cent when it launched the “”Mini Winter Driving Challenge”” in the early part of

this year. While the campaign included radio, TV and direct mail, Flash brought in some of the most measurable results, according to BMW Group Canada e-business manager John Cappella.

“”We wanted to increase traffic, but in terms of putting a number on that, achieving results that are above industry averages are always good, and we were well above industry averages,”” he said.

The campaign, which BMW Group Canada developed through its agency, Blast Radius, included a combination of both banners and the Web site. One ad series showed the Mini driving down a ski slope; another used an interactive game. “”It was very consistent from one element to the next,”” Cappella said.

Macromedia Canada general manager Ray Miller said the Mini campaign’s success shows tangible results that advertisers seek.

“”I think they’re optimistic and eager to get better results than their traditional media, but I don’t think anyone goes into it with expectations that they’ll get 20 or 30 per cent higher,”” he said. “”Right now it’s so new that people are thrilled that they reach that targeted audience.””

Miller said advertisers have become more creative in their use of Flash. He pointed to Benjamin Moore Canada, which two months ago created the concept of a designer’s workbook where visitors can suggest colour patterns, furniture and lighting.

“”It’s like anything: if the story’s good, people will pay attention,”” he said. “”If it’s kind of garbage content, people get annoyed and hit the ‘skip intro’ button.””

In the case of BMW Group Canada, the Winter Driving Challenge achieved a click-through rate of more than two per cent, Capella said.

“”That was really a testament to the creative treatment,”” he said. “”Having done it in Flash allowed us to be a little more free in terms of what we wanted to do, especially in putting a game in there.””

The technology’s ubiquity is attracting other customers as well, Miller said.

“”The key thing is that 98 per cent of the world has the Flash player installed in their browser,”” he said. “”So right from the beginning you’re reaching a very wide audience. The fact that it’s very compact and very efficient for the Web means that the experience over dialup will be decent.””

BMW Group Canada has followed up the Winter Driving Challenge ads with a campaign for its Mini driver training site, Capella said.

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