ELLE, July, 2019 (LINK)
The brand is growing its performance range, driving experiences and a social network that's now taking citizens.
It's interesting how in our ultra-connected world, an idea can start as a tiny seed and grow into a giant beanstalk of a movement - simply because someone on the other side of the world went, 'hang on, that's cool' clicked, shared, and added their spin on it. But that's pretty much what happened with BMW's latest move, a digital village of fans known as M Town.
The idea was born off the back of a cheeky digital campaign in 2017 for BMW's M Performance arm, a series of videos that wryly celebrated all the "too muchness", the negative connotations that people associate with hot cars: showiness, speed, noise, bling and boldness. Or, the emotional reasons why more than a third of Australian and New Zealand BMW customers choose an M-badged model over the a regular variant. Yep, statistics show that as a nation, we can't help but want to turn heads.
The mantra of "too much M is just right" became a movement celebrating the most extra way to own a car, and a series of short videos based in the fictional village of M Town dropped. This was a place where people drove bright, loud cars and did all the things they weren't supposed to do. And yes, many of the manoeuvres are very, very illegal on public roads.
Since then, BMW launched M Town , a social network of 'citizens" (passport and all) that connected fans around the world and soon unofficial M Town instagrams, websites, Youtube videos and facebook groups have popped up, equating to a tens of thousands-strong network of lovers of the cult- status car brand all using the #M_Town hashtag. And no, you don't have to be an owner to be a "citizen".
Now, that's cool, but it's not like us mere mortals will ever get to pull off these high-powered, adrenaline fuelled ballet-like moves in a badass M4 Competition, right? Wrong. BMW has announced it will be bringing those exact theatrics to the peak, quite literally.
Now in its 10th year, the brand's euphoric once-in-a-lifetime Alpine Experience, based atop a New Zealand snowy mountain overlooking Queenstown, will include the growl of M Performance cars and variants, alongside its usually-offered X SUV line. This was revealed alongside an announcement that we can expect to see even more M-performance variants in the coming months, adding to the performance variant domination Australia already enjoys.
"BMW's Alpine Experience is open to everyone," says BMW New Zealand head of marketing, Gabrielle Byfield.
"It's not everyday that people can get behind the wheel of a luxury high performance vehicle in the snow and take on the the same course global brands use to test their new models and snow tyres."
Furthermore, starting from next year, BMW will give attendees the chance to learn the techniques seen on these videos, including drifting, slaloms, high speed hot laps and figure eights, AT NIGHT, with the track lit up by pyrotechnics and neon, coloured lights. You score your own BMW driving jacket, get transported via helicopter and stay in one of the city's best resorts and more. Because apparently, when it comes to BMW owners in this country, if you're not a bit extra, you're doing it wrong.
Sign up to M Town here and find out how you can take your turn drifting an M car across some snow at the BMW Alpine Experience here.