BMW Follows Honda in Recycling Old Ads to Sell Pre-Owned Cars

GS&P uses KBS's work in latest stunt

BMW has become the second automaker in a matter of months to run previously used commercials as a creative hook to sell previously used cars. But the BMW approach is a bit different than what we saw with Honda. 

A few months back, Honda started buying up "pre-owned" ads from other brands and airing them as YouTube prerolls—with Honda messaging added in on top—to promote Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. (That clever campaign, by RPA, involved Honda striking deals with brands like Pom Wonderful and Del Taco to use those old spots.) 

Now, BMW has done something similar. Though instead of running old ads from other brands, it's running its own ads from the past few years, with wry commentary in the voiceovers about why it's doing so. For industry insiders, this is particularly fun, since the new campaign is by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, while the older ads were by KBS (now Forsman & Bodenfors). 

Below is an example of the GS&P work. The voiceovers are by Chris Pine: 

BMW Certified: Special Delivery, Part 1
BMW Certified: Special Delivery, Part 2

The BMW work, which was surely in development before the Honda ads broke, is a playful creative idea, if perhaps a bit ironic, given we were expecting something completely new from GS&P—a storied car agency—on this iconic brand. (All in good time, presumably.) Conceptually, we have to give the edge to Honda on this one, though, since their ads really were owned by somebody else before, just like pre-owned cars are. 

As an amusing addendum, Forsman & Bodenfors weighed in on having its old work repurposed by GS&P. 

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we are thrilled that our BMW work is still running," a rep for F&B New York told AgencySpy. "Should we send Goodby our credits list now or wait until award season is in full effect? Perhaps we'll re-purpose Goodby's 'Got Milk' campaign for one of our clients…" (Indeed, F&B mocked up, and sent to Spy, an image of a gallon of milk from its client Dean Foods, with the "Got Milk?" line at the top.) 

See more of the BMW ads below. 

BMW Certified: Mother In Law
BMW Certified: Astronaut
BMW Certified: Handyman
BMW Certified: Dog

And here are the Honda prerolls mentioned above:

Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Presents a Pre-Owned POM Wonderful® Ad
Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Presents a Pre-Owned Timbuk2® Ad
Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Presents a Pre-Owned Smileactives® Ad
Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Presents a Pre-Owned Del Taco Ad
Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Presents a Pre-Owned Magic Tracks Ad
Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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