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June 20, 2007

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Relearn to Drive: BMW’s Performance Driving School aims at safer driving

With a new campaign featuring offbeat characters from driving lessons past, BMW of North America will encourage drivers to consider how times have changed since their first lesson - and who taught them.

With elements such as an independent, non-branded micro-site and viral videos, BMW of North America tackles more than just what car to drive as it launches "Relearn to Drive," a creative campaign for the BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with Austin-based GSD&M.

The campaign, which begins Tuesday, June 19, aims to bring the BMW Performance Driving School to life by posing the question, "Who taught you to drive?" The campaign will drive people to visit www.RelearnToDrive.com, which is centered on the idea that much of what drivers originally learned was incorrect or no longer applies, and the BMW Performance Driving School is the place to right those wrongs.

The campaign will appear in select auto and lifestyle publications, such as Roundel, Autoweek and Road and Track; online via driving enthusiast sites, such as AutoWeek.com and RacingSchools.com; video sites, including YouTube and Google Video; and on postcards distributed at BMW events nationwide this summer. The campaign will also appear in The Onion - in print and online - as part of a sponsorship.

The "Relearn to Drive" web site features videos of nine eccentric, over-the-top characters that capture the multitude of ways people may have been taught to drive, including several listed below:

  • Mom insists that her son must always use two feet when driving, despite what his father tells him

  • Dad, nervous with clipboard and checklist in hand, gives his son a strict lesson

  • Grandpa, dressed in his old military uniform, says it's time teach his grandson to be a man, and driving a car is "just like driving a submarine - except the car isn't packed with torpedoes

" Visitors to the site will also be able to send humorous email postcards with video to friends and family - customized with a link to the video or just the video - letting them know that perhaps their driving could use some work. In a separate section of the web site, information and high-quality video footage of the BMW Performance Driving School in action will be available.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the BMW Performance Center and BMW Performance Driving School - a 134-acre, state-of-the-art driving facility equipped with closed courses, water walls, a skid pad and an off-road course - as the embodiment of the BMW brand experience for minimal financial commitment. The Driving School offers several programs, including one- and two-day Driving Schools, one- and two-day Teen Driving schools, one- and two-day M Schools for high-performance driving, and an Advanced M School at the Virginia International Raceway to learn highly aggressive driving techniques on professional courses.

"Many drivers on the road today have not considered just how times - and cars - have changed since they learned to drive, and this campaign will serve as an entertaining wake-up call that perhaps we could all stand to learn something new," said Jack Pitney, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. "Increasing awareness of the programs we offer at the BMW Performance Driving School will let people know there is a fun way to hone those skills we all may have to use one day, no matter what kind of car they drive."

All Photos: BMW

(June 18, 2007)

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