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BMW joins Bilibili with hit animation by Final Frontier


The new animated film from BMW may come as a surprise. The 3-minute spot is not heavily branded, and is a big departure from the kind of content typically associated with BMW.


The historical piece with a modern twist is the brainchild of Beijing-based agency Fractalist, the leading social agency for BMW since 2018.


In seeking to conquer Bilibili, the German car-making giant plays by the video platform’s rules, yet still bends them a little at the same time. According to Fractalist Bilibili project manager Julien Li, launching on the platform was only a matter of time. “To create any captivating storytelling, video is still the way to go. But it was quite a daunting task because the type of creative content that a car brand can play with is somewhat more limited than other categories of consumer brand”.

为了能够一举征服B站,这位来自德国的汽车大厂在迎合B站口味的同时,也稍稍挑战了一下规则。飞拓无限Fractalist的项目经理Julien Li告诉我们,登陆B站只是时间问题,“打造现象级的故事,还是得拍出来才能深入人心。但这是一个相当艰巨的任务,因为一个汽车品牌可以发挥的创意内容的类型,一般没有其他类别的消费品牌那么多。”

The frenetic collage-style animation was brought to life by animation production company, Final Frontier, who assembled the production team, including director Ariel Costa (aka BlinkMyBrain) and a global team of specialist designers and animators, for the intense six week cross-continental production.

而动画制作公司FF终极先锋是这部影片背后的功臣,他们组建了制片团队,在导演Ariel Costa (别称:BlinkMyBrain)和他国际专业设计师动画师团队的努力下,在为期六周的紧凑制片时间之内,将这部天马行空的拼贴动画演绎得栩栩如生。

Aiming for a less advertising-like approach, the agency worked with ACG and Bilibili consultant and aficionado, John Chen, to develop a piece that would resonate with the audience on a platform that’s mostly known for ACG (anime, comic, and game) content.  Julien Li explains, “we incorporated a lot of memes that were popular and recognizable on Bilibili, reworked them to fit the narrative and make them more appropriate for the BMW brand, in a way to make the content more digestible and fun”.

为了能够与平台上广大喜爱ACG(动画,漫画及游戏)内容的观众产生共鸣,代理同ACG与B站方面的顾问专家及铁粉John Chen合作,希望拍出一部不那么“硬”的广告视觉大片。Julien Li解释说:“我们整合了很多在哔哩哔哩上很受欢迎的梗,并对它们进行了重新设计,使它们更符合宝马的品牌形象,在某种程度上这样也使得内容更通俗易懂,也更有趣。”

The film strikes a balance between catering for very specific young Chinese audience, and a subtle focus on the brand’s identity.   It’s a quality in messaging that often eludes BMW’s key competitors on the same platform.  “Add a blue friend”, a video on Ford’s Bilibili page, is a noisy barrage of flashy memes and images, that seems to be trying a little too hard to speak its intended audience’s language.  Audi went a step further, partnering with the Bilibili co-produced web animated series, “Incarnation”. The three top videos on the main page are scenes from the series where Audi’s concept car AI:TRAIL quattro appears.

这部影片即迎合了中国特定的年轻观众的胃口,同时也微妙地展示了品牌内核,在这两者之间达到了平衡。这是一种信息传递的高明手段,而宝马在同一平台上的主要竞争对手往往很难做到这一点。比如,福特的B站置顶视频《交个蓝朋友吧》,就是一个各种潦草吵闹,充满了表情包,图片,彩字刷屏的鬼畜视频,虽然是为了跟年轻观众打成一片,但的确显得有点用力过猛。而奥迪则更进一步,直接与B站合作,参与制作了网络动画剧集《灵笼》,奥迪官方频道置顶的三部视频短片,全是关于该剧集中驾驶奥迪概念车AI:TRAIL quattro相关的片段。

Ford’s Add a blue friend《交个蓝朋友吧》

Audi’s Incarnation《灵笼》

While brands flock to the digital platforms inhabited by future Chinese consumers, Bilibili is reportedly facing backlash from veteran users, who have decried the site’s growing commercialization and the dilution of its ACG identity.  For those brands contributing to this shift, playing by Bilibili’s rules may also come at a cost, namely the dismantling of brand image to the point of being barely recognizable.

据报道,当各大品牌纷纷涌入未来中国消费者的数字平台时,哔哩哔哩却遭到了老用户的批评,他们谴责该网站正日益商业化,逐渐将自身的 ACG身份淡化。而对于那些促成这一转变的品牌来说,遵守B站的规则可能也得付出代价,即品牌形象被瓦解到几乎认不出来。

Image from BMW China WeChat Official Account


From a statistical perspective, with just over 50K views, BMW’s launch video is not as impactful as the Audi or Ford equivalents, which have yielded 134K and 67K respectively.  However, if the long-term objective is to create meaningful interaction via content that captures the essence of Bilibili culture, adapting but not revolutionising the brand’s identity, the film does a stellar job.


Julien Li adds, “We plan to bring more awesome content to Bilibili and other platforms to share with our audience. More video ideas have been planned in the pipeline, and for the new videos, we definitely want to explore more possibilities in terms of visual design, like 3D and other formats, and ways of storytelling. And through this sharing, we’d hope to build BMW into a brand that’s here to guide, inspire, and lead a new generation of consumers on lifestyle and future mobility”.

Julien Li最后补充道:“我们计划将更多精彩的内容带到哔哩哔哩等平台与观众们分享。更多的视频创意正在酝酿中,对于这些新的视频,我们想在视觉设计方面探索更多的可能性,比如采用3D或其他形式,以及尝试不同的叙事方式。通过这些分享,我们希望宝马能够成为年轻人生活中的伴侣品牌,去指导,启发和引领新一代消费者的生活和未来的出行方式。

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