It’s one of the most recognized car manufacturers’ slogans from around the globe, because it touches on a visceral truth: BMWs are simply thrilling to drive.
Ammirati Puris AvRutick introduced this concept with the idea that if you own a BMW, you own “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” The agency was relatively unknown until the early 1970s, at which time a series of Fiat ads Ammirati Puris AvRutick created captured the attention of General Motors executive Bob Lutz. Lutz took a gamble on the underdog agency. And it paid off, particularly with Baby Boomers looking to splurge their hard-earned, middle-class dollars on a premium joy ride.
These guys (at BMW) were racing guys. So, they built a car. It looked like an old Corvair. And cost the same as a Cadillac or a Lincoln, which were Americans’ idea of what a luxury car was. And when we got the business the very first day out BMW was ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’.
– Martin Puris, Chief Executive Officer, Engine USA (4A’s interview, 2017)
The campaign both tapped into a universal need and kept a promise: It showcased BMW as a car meant to be enjoyed by drivers, above all.