BMW Celebrates 100 Years With Broadway-Style Event
How do you celebrate 100 years of success? If you’re BMW Group, you throw the biggest event in your brand’s history. In true BMW fashion, the automaker didn’t focus its centennial celebration on the past, but rather highlighted its vision for the future with an event dubbed “The Next 100 Years.” The highlight of the experience was an hour-long multisensory journey for stakeholders that rivaled Broadway’s biggest productions. Featuring live performers, stunning audiovisual elements, the spectacle helped BMW deliver on its goal to position itself as a thought leader and game changer in individual mobility.
Lending authenticity to the experience, The Next 100 Years was held where BMW got its start—in Germany (at Munich’s Olympic Hall, no less). And although the event emphasized BMW’s ambitions for the years ahead, the experience as a whole served as a journey through the brand’s history and future, and incorporated all four BMW Group brands: BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce and BMW Motorrad. As 2,000 attendees from the automotive industry, media, politics and art looked on, BMW communicated its brand story through 12 multimedia vignettes in which projections, sound, dance, poetry and BMW vehicles all converged on stage. As if that wasn’t enough, the show culminated in the reveal of the BMW VISION NEXT 100 concept car.
Of course, a production of that magnitude was fueled by a variety of technologies. The brand’s 2,300-square-meter multiscreen projections (about 25,000-square-feet), which were cast onto the walls, floors and ceiling, were fed through 140 projectors and 27 media servers. The surface was leveraged for 37 minutes of high-definition content, supporting a staggering 105,400 terabytes of files. The setup even earned BMW an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for biggest projection surface. To boot, the brand leveraged a kinetic ceiling sculpture featuring 880 moving spheres, which supported the stage activity from above.
Fortunately for BMW employees, stakeholders weren’t the only ones who got to enjoy the experience. The show was live-streamed to enable employees and partners to view the production from around the globe. The brand even rented out the Allianz Arena, a sports stadium, where 50,000 employees viewed the live broadcast and shared the experience together.
The results were, naturally, worthy of a standing ovation. The event was a top story on more than 25 international print and online publications, including Fortune and the Washington Post, while BMW’s social channels garnered 13 million impressions.
If the brand’s experience is any indication of what’s to come in “the next 100 years,” we’re all in for a wild ride.