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How TikTok Helped BMW Cement Its Place Across 3 Markets

As one of the oldest brands in the world (107 years old this year), BMW is also one of the most cutting-edge automakers.


With every BMW model, cutting-edge automotive design, performance, and technology become a reality. BMW was founded on the principle of innovation, and innovation is what propels the company forward. Technical advancements give drivers an immersive, one-of-a-kind driving experience that makes BMW famous.



However, social media platforms like TikTok have played an equally critical role in bolstering BMW’s popularity and take it to the masses. Here’s how BMW used TikTok to execute its marketing campaigns in three countries, including South Korea, the UK, and Germany.


1. BMW South Korea

BMW collaborated with popular K-Pop musician and TikTok creator Henry to launch its "e-ideal Vibe" campaign to promote its Plug-in Hybrid car, the BMW eDRIVE, in South Korea.


The Objective

BMW sought to promote its Plug-in Hybrid car, the BMW eDRIVE, in South Korea.


The Solution

The campaign centered around Henry recording sounds from the BMW eDRIVE, such as tapping on the hood or plugging in the electric charger, then editing and looping those sounds to create the remix. This served as the basis for the #BMWeDRIVE Branded Hashtag Challenge.



To kick off the challenge, Henry and five other TikTok creators called on users to create various types of videos. They were allowed to freely come up with fun ways to dance to the BMW version of Thunder, or even replicate Henry's method of creating music and sharing it with the world.


To support the Hashtag Challenge, BMW launched a series of branded solutions on TikTok, including TopView and Brand Premium In-Feed Ads for the duration of the six-day campaign.


The Result

The campaign performed well beyond BMW’s expectations as it attracted 45.99M video views from 3,400 participants. It also drove 6.29 million engagements. Best of all, this campaign reached beyond the South Korean market with participation from as many as 49 countries around the world.


2. BMW UK

BMW UK launched a TikTok campaign and used TopView and In-Feed Ads to drive brand awareness across the masses in the UK.


The Objective

BMW wanted to drive mass brand awareness with a new, younger audience on TikTok in the UK.


The Solution

Led by Creative Lab, whose mission is to help key brands and agencies create best-in-class work on TikTok, the solution intelligently weaved the features of BMW’s latest 1 Series in with visuals of two Team GB athletes – a gymnast (Joe Fraser) and BMX’er (Chaz Worther).



The campaign, referring to the 1 Series as ‘The 1’, sought to bring to life BMW UK’s core value, aligned with the passions of both Joe and Chaz. The two backflipped and wheelied their way around the car, whilst showing innovative features like the optional parking assistance and gesture control through clever edits.


BMW UK used two of TikTok’s most effective branded solutions for driving high levels of exposure and engagement to bring this concept to life; TopView and In-Feed Ads.


The Result

The campaign was a resounding success, pulling in a stunning 27 million impressions overall and a 16.08% click-through rate, showing just how powerful expertly crafted creative can be at funneling new users in. It was also cost-efficient, whilst growing BMW UK’s ad recall by 10.7%.


3. BMW Germany

BMW was about to launch BMW S 1000 R bikes and sought to reach a wide German audience to promote it.



The Objective

BMW Motorrad, wanted to reach a wider German audience with the latest version of one of their most popular bikes – the BMW S 1000 R.


The Solution

BMW Motorrad worked with two agencies (LOBECO and Tillmann Brothers for conception, shooting, and creative creation as well as CROSSMEDIA for media strategy and planning) to create a visually stunning video to be deployed as a One Day Max In-Feed Ad. The ad had dynamic, attention-grabbing effects paired with beautiful product shots and a unique soundtrack to complete the immersive experience of the video.


Sound-on and full-screen, One Day Max In-Feed Ads appear natively at the top of a user’s personalized ‘For You’ feed alongside other user-generated content, and feature 100% SOV for brands and a short description or call to action. They dominate the screen when and where it matters most, in the palm of the hand, right at the start of a user’s journey.



A call to action then directed users to BMW Motorrad’s TikTok profile, where more great content from the brand could be explored.


The Result

The BMW Motorrad ad reached more than 1.6 million users and the video generated over 1.8 million video views, with a click-through rate of 1.91%, and a watch time per video well above the benchmark. BMW Motorrad also saw an increase of 25,000 new followers to their TikTok profile in the time the campaign was live.


Bottom Line

While TikTok certainly makes for an excellent marketing platform, having a sound understanding of its different ad formats can help deliver excellent results. While Branded Hashtag Challenges are quite likely to deliver the expected results, they are usually expensive and not recommended for small brands.


They can instead go for TopView ad placement, which would make their content the first thing that the users would see when they open their app. Also, trying the In-Feed Ads can deliver the desired results as they emerge first when the users scroll through their For You feed. However, it’s ultimately about how catchy and engaging your content is; consider your job half done if you get that right!


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