Published on December 18th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


BMW Delivers Decent Ad For BMW i3, But Not 1 Of My 4 Favorites (VIDEOS)

December 18th, 2013 by  

If you’ve been following my electric vehicle (EV) coverage for long, you know that I’m not a fan of most EV commercials… despite loving EVs. There are just four EV ads or ad campaigns that I’ve loved — more or less. I’ll share those below after commenting on BMW’s new BMW i3 video ad. First here’s the new BMW i3 video:

So, that was a pro driver ripping up a race track. It was decent. Better than average. It actually portrayed the car as fun, fast, exciting, hot, etc. But it wasn’t anything special. And the BMW i3 is a special car, so I think it deserved more. The BMW i3 is BMW’s first electric car built electric from the ground up. It’s also the highest quality non-Tesla on the mass market. Highlighting the wicked and wonderful torque of the i3 would have been nice. Doing something a little different would have been nice. But, hey, it was quite good overall, and it did steer away from the common “this is a feelgood, logical car since it’s green and fuel efficient.” And we certainly need to broaden EV marketing in order to get the EV revolution rolling faster.

With that commentary out of the way, if you’re wondering which four EV ads or ad campaigns I loved (more or less), here they are:

Why do I love this ad? Because it highlights a performance benefit of electric vehicles that gasmobiles will never have, and it does so excellently. It highlights the tremendous torque of electric cars, noting that the Chevy Spark EV (a rather cheap car) has more torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia. It also visualizes the fact that the Spark EV is electric very wonderfully, in a way you won’t forget. Excellent. Now if GM would just sell the car in more markets….

If you’re going to sell an electric car based on the environmental benefits of EVs, really sell it. Really do it. Renault has created the best such ad yet with this one, imho. It’s clever, funny, and really gets people thinking about the pollution automobiles emit — something we are far too used to at this point. This is a classic, and it should be shared every opportunity we have.

That’s just one of a series of excellent “Fiat 500e is sexy” commercials and ads. There’s no denying it — sex sells. Funny also sells. And funny is also sexy. This ad campaign was quite funny and sexy, and it’s the only such campaign I’ve seen for an EV. Kudos to whoever put that together. It’s too bad the head of Fiat is so anti-EV and the car is only being produced in the smallest quantities for the fewest markets. It’s sort of odd that one of the hottest and most acclaimed electric cars, with one of the hottest ad campaigns, has been produced by a company whose head is so opposed to EVs. I guess it’s sort of one of the enigmas of the EV industry.

Gallons of light is an amazing video. I don’t think it was actually commissioned by Tesla — read the creator’s story of the ad for more on that. But it doesn’t matter. This was an ad for the Tesla Model S, and it is one of the best EV ads I’ve ever seen. Someone in charge of marketing electric vehicles should really get in touch with Jordan and do more to spread strong, positive EV messages that make you think about the technology in a new way. Jordan nailed it here, and I’m sure he could do much more to advance the EV revolution.

So, those are my four favorites. Any more that you love and I missed? Any disagreement here?

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • ThomasGerke

    Volkswagen got a cute new tv ad for the e-Up! in Germany.

    Two kids imagining the future
    “In the future candy comes from the tap and we’ll all be astronauts – no pricesses! – and we drive around the milkyway – and cars need only 1 liter of gas – or none at all.”

    “The new e-Up! – simply electric”
    “The new XL1 – simply ingenious”

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