NEW YORK -- Don't be surprised if BMW's advertising starts to look more like Mini's.
Last week, BMW of North America LLC awarded its national creative account to GSD&M Advertising of Austin, Texas.
Jack Pitney, BMW's vice president of marketing, said in a conference call last week that the company's "holistic" approach will borrow advertising ideas from its Mini brand.
Mini is known for its use of event marketing and other nontraditional strategies. It has a separate ad account.
Pitney previously headed sales and marketing at Mini. Last spring he switched jobs with BMW's longtime marketing chief, Jim McDowell.
In June, BMW dumped its then-ad agency, Fallon of Minneapolis.
The company expects new creative advertising by next spring.
Pitney said BMW will keep its tag line, "The Ultimate Driving Machine."
He said the company plans to increase ad spending next year but would not be specific.
"TV will play an important role," Pitney said.
Through the first half of 2005, BMW division spent $72.7 million to advertise in U.S. media, according to TNS Media Intelligence. That was down 3.9 percent from the year-ago period.
GSD&M will handle BMW's broadcast, print and interactive advertising. Its duties will include media planning, relationship marketing, direct marketing and event marketing.
The agency has been a finalist for four other auto ad accounts since 1997: Mazda North American Operations, Land Rover, Subaru of America Inc. and Kia Motors America Inc.
GSD&M won Land Rover in 2000 but lost the account in 2002 when BMW sold the brand to Ford Motor Co.
Roy Spence, GSD&M's founder and president, said last week: "The thing we did differently this time was, we won."
BMW is the second-best-selling luxury nameplate in the United States. In the first 10 months of 2005, BMW division had U.S. sales of 216,063 vehicles, up 1.0 percent from the year-ago period.