BMW began running spoof April Fool's Day adverts in the early 1980s, giving it one of the longest traditions of April Foolery of any corporation. Most of the ads have appeared in UK newspapers and have been created by the agency WCRS. However, BMW Canada also occasionally joins in the fun. (I'm not aware of any April Fool ads run by BMW in the US.)
BMW's marketing department has said that the April Fool ads are "designed to teeter on the verge of credibility," and often focus on a new and revolutionary piece of technology from BMW, but "push the idea just beyond the plausible." WCRS has also explained that it uses the April Fool ads to "puncture pomposity, and create a feeling of belonging to the 'BMW club' of those who enjoy the joke."
BMW Canada ran an ad in the Globe and Mail announcing a new addition to its luxury cars: road warmers. Pivoting convex lasers mounted in front of each wheel would melt ice and snow on the road as the car was being driven. Turbo fans would then remove excess moisture from the road. According to BMW's press release, this invention would "virtually eliminate the need to clear your driveway during winter." The advertisement assured readers that road warmers would eventually become standard on all new BMWs, but until then dealers would install them on older models free of charge.
A commercial for BMW aired on British TV promoting a revolutionary new technology, "anti-track control," that enabled the removal of tire tracks from the ground. The ad explained that the technology had been developed by East German military authorities, but it could now be used by surreptitious lovers seeking to conceal their tracks from suspicious partners. The spoof commercial was created for BMW by ad agency WCRS. The footage of disappearing tire tracks was created by taking a previous BMW commercial and playing it backwards.
The Toot and Calm Horn.
BMW revealed that it had developed a new "Toot and Calm Horn" (T.C.H.) system, which made a noise that actually calmed other drivers on the road rather than aggravating them, thereby lessening the risk of road rage. The name "Toot and Calm Horn" was styled after Tutankhamen.
This April Fool ad has been fairly widely reported, but I don't know where or when it ran. The earliest report of it I've found dates to 2006. I'm guessing the ad may have run in the 1990s.
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