BMW Is 'The Ultimate Drive-In Machine' in Charming Covid Ad

GS&P celebrates a different kind of date night

Car culture is alive and well during Covid—it's just shifted into a lower gear. From birthday parades to drive-in movies, we're still getting behind the wheel, even if we're moving quite a bit slower than we used to.

BMW acknowledges our respite from the fast lane in a charming new commercial from Goodby Silverstein & Partners that salutes a new tradition that lots of families have embraced as the weather has warmed up: drive-in movies at home.

The 80-second commercial below features a mom who drops her daughter off at Grandma's before returning to a surprise date night planned by her husband. And it ends with one of the best advertising puns we've seen in a while.

The Ultimate Drive-In Machine | Homemade Movie Theater | BMW USA

It was worth making this spot just for the "Ultimate Drive-In Machine" line. But GS&P creative directors Wes Phelan and Matt Edwards, working with director Logan Roos, really turned it into a warm and charming tale.

"The idea was actually born in my garage more than a month ago," says Phelan. "With movie theaters closed and daily life getting pretty monotonous, I thought it would be nice to surprise my wife with our own little personalized drive-in-movie date."

Phelan shared the experience with his BMW client, and they got a spot rolling.

"With the resurgence of drive-in cinema and the heartfelt nature of the piece, BMW was quick to see the vision," says Edwards. "And from there, it was just a simple case of art imitating life."

Though of course, not so simple in the age of coronavirus. Roos shot at home with his own wife and daughter, with client and agency joining remotely via Zoom.

"There were definitely a lot of hurdles, but shooting with only my wife and daughter made it safe," Roos says, "and in the end, I think it allowed the film to feel truly authentic with an inescapable homemade touch to it."


Client: BMW of North America
Brand: BMW
Spot Name: "The Ultimate Drive-in Machine"
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

VP Marketing, North America: Uwe Dreher
Head of Brand Strategy and Communications, North America: Albi Pagenstert
National Brand and Media Director: Michael Jobst 
Social Media Specialist: Jaime Pritchard 


Co-Chairmen: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein
Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
Creative Director: Matt Edwards
Creative Director: Wes Phelan
Associate Creative Director: Carlos Rangel
Art Director: Kevin Leung

Account Services 
Managing Partner: Leslie Barrett
Group Account Director: Chris Ferko
Account Director: Alissa Sheely
Account Manager: Meghan Mast
Project Manager: Kaitlyn Landers

Brand and Communication Strategy 
Partner, Head of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan
Partner, Head of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen
Group Brand Strategy Director: Stephanie Phillips
Strategy Director: Kevin DeStefan 
Brand Strategist: Darien Ahn
Group Comm Strategy Director: Dong Kim
Senior Communications Strategist: Matt Hudgins

Co-Director of Production: Leila Gage and Margaret Brett-Kearns
Executive Broadcast Producer: Matt Flaker
Junior Broadcast Producer: Daniel Chang

Business Affairs 
Director of Business Affairs: Judy Ybarra
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Chrissy Shearer

Production Company 
Company Name: Greenpoint Pictures
Production Company City: New York
Director: Logan Roos
Director of Photography: Logan Roos
Executive Producer: Tatiana Rudzinski
Executive Producer: Trevor King
Head of Production: Karen Berkowitz
Creative Director: Niles Roth

Editorial Company  
Company Name: Greenpoint Pictures
Editing Company City: New York 
Editor: Logan Roos
Post Production Producer: Tori Vallas-Cullen

Audio and Sound Design Company  
Sound Design Company City: New York
Audio Engineer: Bobb Barito 
Music: Music by Human
Senior Producer Kamela Anderson
EP: Carol Dunn
Creative Director: Mike Jurasits
Composer: John Chris Barnes

VFX Company  
Color Grade: Seth Ricart / RCO

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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