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How to launch a BMW over the Atlantic

By June 27, 2008 2 Comments

The Ramp - A documentary by Jeff Schultz

First, you build a huge ramp…taller than the Space Needle.

And that’s really what “The Ramp,” a 35 minute documentary by Jeff Schultz (pictured above), is about. It’s an intriguing story about Oberpfaffelbachen, a small town in Germany that has fallen on hard times and determined they needed a common mission.

And the mission they chose was to build a giant ramp to launch a car from Germany—over the Atlantic Ocean—to America.

Sound crazy? Check out the trailer:

The link at the end of the video, takes you to Rampenfest.com, based on the name of the festival the town will throw to celebrate the launch. The only thing on the site is the documentary in a number of formats.

Of course, you may not have 35 minutes to view the entire documentary, and that’s probably okay since it’s really a mockumentary: The town, the people, and the ramp are all fictional—part of an ambitious viral campaign created by BMW to launch their new 1 series in the U.S.

Get it?

Anyway, as far as virals go, this is one of the better ones. The BMW doesn’t even appear until 15-20 minutes in, and it’s not the star of the show. It’s the people. And the ramp.

The cost of producing this video was a fraction of the cost of running a :30 second spot here in the U.S., but “The Ramp” has resulted in significant word of mouth for BMW and it’s new 1 series. Millions have viewed the video, and mainstream media like CNN has picked it up as well.

Do you appreciate the creativity and subtlety of viral campaigns, or do hate feeling like you’ve been duped?

Comment below to weigh in.

. . .
Inspiration for this post came from Conrad Saam. Thanks for the tip, Conrad.

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