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BMW Advertisements in France Reach Amazon Echo and Google Home Users When They Ask for the News

Some people think there is no advertising through Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers. However, there is an exception for certain types of media such as news and Flash Briefings. BMW took advantage of this for the launch of the new 3 Series models equipped with the Intelligent BMW personal assistant in France.

During the campaign, every time a user asks Google Assistant or Alexa to play the news, a short commercial message of about 15 seconds is broadcast first. The message is in French but a rough translation to English is, “You have just requested your news, did you know that with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant you could request it in the same way while in your BMW 3 Series?”

The campaign consists of 5 spots and will be broadcast for one month before the news of seven French publishers with Alexa skills and Google Actions: 20 Minutes, Auto Plus, Binge, Capital, Le Parisien, Les Echos, and Huffpost.

Smart Speakers as an Advertising Channel

The ad campaign is notable in several respects. Firstly, BMW is targeting users that are most likely to be interested in its Alexa and Google Assistant support by advertising directly to smart speaker owners while they are using the devices.

Secondly, this appears to be the first time that a car manufacturer is putting forward the ability of its own voice assistant to access assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant as a differentiating factor. This is not about a powerful engine or the luxury inside. The car’s native voice assistant and its compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant are brought to the attention of the potential buyer. This is similar to what Mercedes did with its A-Class commercial during Superbowl but that instance focused on the Hey Mercedes assistant. Toyota’s marketing of its Alexa integration just talks about Alexa and not a proprietary assistant integration.

Thirdly, as highlighted by the French magazine Le Journal de la Voix, there seems to be quite a significant overlap between smart speakers owners and BMW customers. In France, 53% of smart speakers’ owners are from upper middle class, while 69% are between 25 and 49 years old. Advertising on smart speakers is in its very early days and comes with a target group definitely worth advertising to for a luxury brand like BMW.

Lastly, this innovative campaign promotes the ubiquity of the voice assistants or put differently, “voice everywhere.” This seems to be a rising trend since CES earlier this year where voice assistants where clearly everywhere from Amazon’s Alexa microwave to Google announcing its assistant being available in 1 Billion devices.

About the author: Alexis Hue is the managing director of Voice & You, a boutique consulting agency where he advises brands on how to utilize voice to increase their competitive advantage. He is also the co-founder both the Journal de la Voix, France’s #1 Media dedicated 100% to voice as well as Voice Leaders Europe a community and business club for the voice community in Europe.


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