BMW i Road to Coachella 2018



Coachella has long been one of the largest music festivals in the world and a hotbed of fresh, sustainable, and progressive ideas. As an official partner of Coachella for the second consecutive year, BMW i continued to explore new experiential platforms in presenting the Road to Coachella, a campaign that seamlessly blended music, inspired design, technology, sustainable mobility, and the journey that fans and artists take on their own road to Coachella.



BMW i returned to the desert in 2018 to expand social reach and drive the BMW i conversation. This year’s campaign weaved an influencer-driven narrative together with a series of onsite live events to create a multi-faceted experience that reached a wide demographic.



The Road to Coachella focused on a creative partnership with John Gourley of the Grammy-winning multi-platinum group Portugal. The Man; one of the most anticipated performers at the iconic festival. Gourley, an accomplished graphic artist in addition to his role as the band’s lead singer, drew inspiration from Coachella and BMW i to create a custom one-of-a-kind design that was printed and wrapped on a fleet of BMW i’s for the Road to Coachella.

Coachella announced BMW i’s return to the desert through a 30-second video that documented Gourley’s creative process and gave fans a tease of his finished design. A follow-up video debuted the design to the Coachella audience and featured Gourley’s reaction as the wrapped i8 and i3 were revealed. The piece also included footage of the wrapped cars on the road to Coachella. These videos were shared across the official social media channels of Portugal. The Man, BMW, BMW i, and Coachella.

The road to Coachella is different for everybody, whether playing or attending, and this unique campaign was the ultimate celebration of people coming together around a common love for music and art.




In addition to John Gourley, the campaign enlisted 17 social media influencers from around the world who each embarked on their own Road to Coachella. Each influencer and celebrity drove one of the Gourley-wrapped i8s or i3s on their journey and created compelling original content from the road, at the festival, and at our series of sponsored events.  

– Paris Hilton
– Taylor Hill
– Jamie Chung
– Bryan Greenberg
– Kerby Jean-Raymond
– Nick Bateman
– Jenn Im
– Dorothy Wang
– Hans Zimmer
– Kellan Lutz
– Jack Baran
– Christopher Mason
– Olivia Karina
– Julie Sarinana
– Danielle Bernstein
– Farina Opoku
– Valentina Ferragni
– Luca Vezil
– Rommel Pacheco
– Eduardo Avila
– Christian Rijanto
– Liane Valenzuela




Outside of the festival, BMW i partnered with nightlife leaders the h.wood Group to present two of the weekend’s largest and most buzzworthy events: Poppy’s BMW i Powered Paradise on Friday night, and Poppy’s BMW i Recharge Oasis on Sunday afternoon. More than 6000 guests attended the exclusive parties, which took place at a sprawling estate just blocks away from Coachella.


Guests were treated to a custom-curated BMW i lounge, as well as several unique BMW i activations. Upon entering, guests were greeted with a fleet of Gourley-wrapped BMW i display vehicles they could climb into for the perfect shareable photo. They could also pose at the BMW i3 neon art installation. Adjacent to the main stage, a large interactive neon photo booth experience with the brand new BMW i8 Roadster gave guests a chance to create their own instantly shareable video. A custom-wrapped claw machine housed custom bandanas designed by John Gourley, which guests donned on both weekends throughout Coachella. Four lucky winners clawed their way to a hidden BMW i8 key in a bandana, giving them an extended weekend test drive of the all-new BMW i8 Roadster.

The star-studded events featured performances by Diplo, Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, and Post Malone, and featured a wide array of A-list attendees and BMW influencers, including:

  • Kylie and Kendall Jenner
  • Kourtney Kardashian
  • Rihanna
  • Gigi and Bella Hadid
  • The Weeknd
  • Demi Lovato
  • Paris Hilton
  • Kellan Lutz



The campaign’s media reach crossed over multiple genres, including automotive, music, art, and entertainment, garnering hundreds-of-millions of media impressions.

BMW i exceeded expectations by gaining over 882 million impressions over the two-week campaign, with 1.1 billion impressions stemming from the BMW i parties, all without a single dollar spent on paid media.

Performance Summary:

    • 35M: Total organic reach via influencer channels
    • 2.3M: Total engagement on influencer channels
    • 8.3M: Total organic reach via BMW i channels
    • 517K: Total engagement on BMW & BMW i channels
    • 200% above average growth on BMW i Instagram channel
    • Instagram was by far the most effective channel for brand posts, with around 5x more impressions and 3-6x more engagements
    • Campaign was exceptionally well-received, with 100% of comments being positive

Ultimately, the Road to Coachella was able to reach hundreds of millions of people in BMW’s target demographic and make a lasting, authentic, and meaningful impression on Coachella fans.