X5 HITS THE SLOPES - BMW of North America Inc. is wasting little time in trying to establish an upscale, rugged image for its X5 sport-utility. BMW is the sponsor of the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 14, in Vail, Colo., and the X5 is the official car. During the event, BMW is staging the Winter Driving Experience, a driver-education program that features its 5-series station wagon, on nearby, iced-over Nottingham Lake. Participants are taught slide-control techniques and experience BMW's traction-control and stability-control systems. The X5 goes on sale this fall.
LISTEN TO MOTHER - In an effort to appeal to more moms with its Windstar minivan, Ford Division is touting its own mothers. A new print and TV advertising campaign showcases some of the 30 members of the 1999 Windstar's product development team who are moms. Part of the ad reads: 'Sure, they know torque convertors. But they also know diapers, infant seats and juice boxes.'
AIMING AT HISPANICS - American Honda Motor Co. Inc. has added a commercial to its lineup of regional TV spots aimed at Hispanic car buyers. This one features the Accord LX. All the spots were created by La Agencia de Orci & Asociados, Honda's Los Angeles-based Hispanic advertising agency.
'It's really very simple,' said Susan Casillas-Perez, director of the agency's Honda account. 'If you want to sell a product successfully, your target audience must see themselves using that product and be able to identify with the individuals in the spot.'
HAMMER TIME - Kia Motors America Inc. has put up a huge three-dimensional ad on a billboard. The 20-by-60-foot board on the San Diego Freeway has a huge hammer hanging from its side. The letters in front of a seemingly encased Kia Sportage read, 'Break in Case of Boredom.' The Kia billboard will remain in place through June.