BMW Beats the Bends

I’m in a vintage mood, so here is a little bit of old school for your entertainment.

These two clips tell the tale of an old advertising rivalry between two of the world’s greatest motor companies. In 1988 an Irish businessman drove his Mercedes Benz off the cliffs of the treacherous Chapman’s Peak Drive in Hout Bay, my hometown. Miraculously the man walked away from the wreckage of his Merc with barely a scratch on him.

Mercedes Benz jumped on the story, spinning it into a marketing campaign emphasising the impressive safety features of their vehicles which protected the businessman from serious injury. The director of this was Keith Rose and it in fact won a Gold Lion award at the 1990 Cannes Lions.

BMW, like any good rival would, found this amusing and wasted no time in releasing their own ad. A near identical video featuring one of their cars, but this time there’s no accident and the car travels safely from one end of the mountain to the other. The tagline: BMW Beats the Bends.

Not quite Benz, but when you say it aloud on camera it sounds very similar.

A court case ensued but articles online are conflicting about who won the case. Perhaps someone knows and can clarify?

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