BMW i Archives - Mirrored Media

EuroNews: Hans Zimmer Composes a Soundtrack for the BMW i4, Will Tesla Catch Up?

Posted by | News | No Comments

Hans Zimmer is the man behind the music. Having written film scores for hits like The Lion King and Interstellar, the German composer is now working on a series of mini-soundtracks to feature in the 2021 all-electric BMW i4. The electric car is anticipated to be the first genuine rival to Tesla’s Model 3. Zimmer’s soundtracks will not only be exclusive to this model, they will set the tone (quite literally) for the sound of all future electric BMWs.

What do electric vehicles (EVs) sound like? At low speeds, EVs and hybrids can be near-silent. This has led experts to believe that, compared to their gas-guzzling counterparts, they are 37% and 57% more likely to cause low-speed accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, says a 2011 study by the US National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration.

As a result, currently new models, and by July 2021 all new electric cars, must now be fitted with Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) in the EU. These systems emit a continuous noise when moving 20 kilometres per hour or slower or when reversing, helping to alert pedestrians.

BMW licenced
Hans Zimmer with sound designer Renzo VitaleBMW licenced

SO, WHAT SHOULD FILL THE SILENCE?

Well, safety is the primary purpose, “but there is still room to inject the brand personality and differentiate it from others in the competitive space,” says sound designer Connor Moore, who has worked on the audio branding for Tesla and Google/Waymo cars. While early approaches to AVAS sounds opted for either emulating Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) or a plain and simple electric motor noise, we are now starting to see more creative approaches. “We have an opportunity to take an atonal ICE tone and craft something [] to create a very specific emotion – which is powerful,” says Connor.

When it comes to an engine-emulating AVAS system, there are pros and cons. Kota Kobayashi, design lead at EV manufacturer Arrival, tells Euronews Living, “people already recognise the sound, so there is no need to educate the meaning of the sound. But if we were to communicate various levels of risk to pedestrians, it may be difficult to do so by the sound of the combustion engine alone.”

SHOULD EV MANUFACTURERS START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX?

BMW is certainly breaking away from legislation-imposed sounds, with Zimmer and collaborator Renzo Vitale composing what the manufacturer refer to as “sound worlds”. These will apply to the exterior, the AVAS, as well as the opening of car doors, and a special start/stop musical theme will apply to the concept version of the i4. Maybe we can even expect an Interstellar-esque docking theme to sound out as you connect the electric BMW to a charging station? Connor says “simplicity” is key when composing these sounds.

“We don’t want to be heavy-handed or overly rich or complex for a turn signal or seatbelt chime. To me, good sound design is almost transparent. It should be something you notice and love, but should live more in the subconscious.”

One might assume that it would be cutting-edge EV brand Tesla choosing to go leftfield and employing the skills of a film composer, rather than BMW, the German car manufacturer steeped in history. While the Tesla Model 3s were fitted with an AVAS system in the US from September 2019, it is one of the only EV manufacturers that is yet to experiment sonically.

DO AVAS SYSTEMS TAINT THE POSSIBILITIES OF A QUIETER CITY OF THE FUTURE?

Every year 1.6 million ‘healthy life’ years are lost in European cities due to environmental noise, primarily traffic, states the World Health Organisation. Increased risk of heart disease, stress-related mental health issues, tinnitus and cognitive impairment among children are some of the main health risks. An adaptive AVAS system could be used to emit noise at a quieter level when in a suburban area at night time, where the sound level is often 40dB or lower.

What’s more, researchers at the Danish Road Directorate found EVs to be 4-5dB less noisy at low speeds than the equivalent petrol-powered car, proving a switch to electric would still have a significant impact in reducing noise pollution.

“We have an opportunity here to potentially design a quieter world,” says Connor.

At this rate, cities of the future could end up sounding like the sci-fi clamours from Blade Runner 2049, but will other manufacturers choose to follow in BMW and Audi’s creative footsteps?

Read the full article at euronews.com

NY Times: The Soundtrack to an Electric Car

Posted by | News | No Comments

The film composer Hans Zimmer is creating a sonic signature for BMW’s forthcoming electric i4 sedan.

By Stephen Williams

When General Maximus — that’s Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” — leads his Roman legions into battle, Hans Zimmer’s bombastic, percussive score propels them to victory.

As hundreds of bedraggled British troops waging World War II await a tenuous evacuation from the beaches of “Dunkirk,” Mr. Zimmer’s tick-tock effects mirror their anxiety and urgency.

As the 1976 Formula One championship roils toward a climax in “Rush,” Mr. Zimmer’s synthesizer is there on the rain-soaked track in Japan, fueling the fight.

And when a driver starts up his or her electric-powered BMW i4 sedan later this year or next, Hans Zimmer will be riding shotgun, so to speak, creating a sonic signature for the car, because electric motors make little sound.

“I can sum it up, from Day 1 to now: It’s never finished, it’s always an experiment,” Mr. Zimmer said recently in a phone interview from London. “We’ve been trying to create sounds which are aesthetically pleasing and calming — sort of anti-road rage.”

So don’t expect to hear the growl of an overtuned V-8, the bark of an amplified exhaust, the screech of tires digging for grip. Mr. Zimmer wants to take you to a different place. “It’s something that transports you in the most elegant way possible,” he said. “We are trying to make your life less chaotic, more beautiful.”

But beyond aesthetics and marketing, enhancing an electric car with sounds is a legal issue as well. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopted rules in 2018 that say electric cars must make some artificial sounds. Congress made it a requirement that light-duty hybrids and electrics emit noise as a safety measure for pedestrians, bicyclists and people with a visual impairment.

The European Parliament has mandated that electrics sold in Europe will have to “sound similar” to cars with combustion engines at speeds below 20 kilometers an hour. The rule is to take full effect in 2021.

So far, BMW is alone in hiring a composer with Mr. Zimmer’s repertoire, and this work is a labor of love for the 62-year-old, German-born musician. He said the Bavarians “came to me” to accept the work, “although a half-hour later I had an email from another company to create something for an electric car.”

“But I grew up with BMW. My family always drove BMWs,” he added. “There was an emotional connection there.”

The BMW Concept i4. “We’re not building racecars here,” Mr. Zimmer said. “We’re taking you on a different journey.”

Certainly, the German carmaker isn’t alone is seeking ways to fill in the sonic voids that are inherent in electric cars. Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have assigned development teams to work toward similar ends for their electrics, as have Jaguar, Nissan, General Motors and others.

“The electric vehicle sound is its identity,” Frank Welsch, responsible for technical development at Volkswagen, told Reuters last year. “It cannot be too intrusive or annoying. It has to be futuristic, and it cannot sound like anything we had in the past.”

BMW’s soundtrack is very much a work in progress for Mr. Zimmer and his partner in the project, Renzo Vitale, the automaker’s sound designer. Mr. Zimmer, who maintains an exotic sound laboratory in Santa Monica, Calif., is fitting it in between his film work: He was putting the finishing touches on his score for the new James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” (which has been delayed until November) when we spoke in mid-March.

He explained that, in his view, the “BMW IconicSounds Electric” commission was more about deleting than adding. “Too much information would automatically be distracting,” he said. “If you look at the great pieces of art, it’s usually the simplicity that makes them great.”

Mr. Zimmer was asked if the rather chaotic soundtrack he created for “Rush” might somehow translate to excite the experience of an electric car, much the way a loud, vibrating exhaust might affect a driver’s senses.

“‘Rush’ is not about your normal day of enjoying your car,” he said. “We’re not building racecars here. We’re taking you on a different journey.”

Some of the created sounds released so far by BMW have been described in rather esoteric terms. One white paper from the company calls out a “liminal threshold” with sound that is “manifold” and “chameleonic” with “presence that is subtle but unavoidable.” Among the tones to reach the listeners’ ears are those with mid- to high frequencies, low frequencies and a “dynamic pulse train” that provides a “throbbing sensation.”

Mr. Zimmer, who doesn’t try to describe these “compositions” in sentences (he is the first to allow that it’s nearly impossible to describe music with words), has a somewhat more ethereal view.

“A car can be the most beautiful form of solitude, yet there’s the companionship you get from the engine,” he said. “Part of what we’re trying to do is to create sounds which are aesthetically rather pleasing and calming.”

At the same time, said Mr. Vitale, the sounds that may be used to identify the car’s start/stop systems, for example, are “intended to instill a sense of excitement.”

As for the composer, “I’m still trying to get closer to the truth,” Mr. Zimmer said. “How am I going to connect the humans to the machine? How am I going to give you the freedom in this world I create to be an individual and tell your own story?”

He sighed, then said, “Our rubbish bins are full of dead sounds, things which seemed hopeful and exciting and then turned out to be going in the wrong direction.”

See the full story and more at nytimes.com

The International Davey Awards Announces Winners

Posted by | News | No Comments

Mirrored Media is honored to have been awarded a gold Davey Award in the category of Marketing Effectiveness for the 2019 #RoadtoCoachella campaign with BMW i and artist partner, Khalid.

Winners of the 15th Annual Davey Awards have been announced by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. With nearly 3,000 entries from across the U.S. and from around the world, the Davey Awards honors the finest creative work from the best small shops, firms, and companies worldwide. Please visit www.daveyawards.com to view the full winners list.

The Davey Awards is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 700+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: Code and Theory, Condé Nast, Disney, GE, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Microsoft, Tinder, MTV, Push., Publicis, Sesame Workshops, The Marketing Store, Your Majesty, Yahoo!, and many others. You can visit www.aiva.org for more information on the Academy and a full list of members.

About the Davey Awards:

The Davey Awards is an international award focused exclusively on honoring outstanding creative work from the best small shops from across the world. The 15th Annual Davey Awards received nearly 3,000 entries from ad agencies, digital agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms. David defeated the mighty Goliath with a big idea and a little rock. That is the sort of thing small agencies do every day. The Davey Awards honors the achievements of the “Creative David’s” where strength comes from ideas, intelligence and out -of-the-box thinking, not a “Giant’s” bankroll. Great work is about fresh ideas and exceptional execution, not the biggest budgets. The Davey levels the playing field so entrants compete with only their peers and can win the recognition they deserve.

CNN Courageous: The Joy of What’s Next

Posted by | News | No Comments

The Brand Studio at CNN: The Joy Of What’s Next

In this documentary series, award-winning correspondent Mariana Van Zeller takes a close look at the people and personalities at the forefront of innovation.

How do you describe the sound of something that doesn’t exist? Mariana meets with BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale and composer Hans Zimmer to discover the audio palette of BMW’s Vision M NEXT car.

Watch the joy of whats next: Episode 1 The Sound of What’s Next HERE.

Mirrored Media: 5 Time Platinum Winner in 2019 MarCom Awards

Posted by | News | No Comments

Mirrored Media is honored to announce that we have received five platinum awards in the 2019 MarCom Awards for our work for BMW i on #RoadtoCoachella. Awards were won in the following categories:

  • Integrated Marketing Campaign
  • Social Content
  • Viral Marketing Campaign
  • Marketing Product/Service
  • Influencer Content

MarCom Awards honors excellence in marketing and communication while recognizing the creativity, hard work and generosity of industry professionals.

Since its inception in 2004, MarCom has evolved into one of the largest, most-respected creative competitions in the world. Each year about 6,000 print and digital entries are submitted from dozens of countries.

MarCom is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization, founded in 1995, consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital and web professionals. AMCP administers recognition programs, provides judges, and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the community.

Mirrored Media Awarded Gold, Silver, & Bronze in Summit

Posted by | News | No Comments

Mirrored Media is proud to announce that we’ve won three Summit Creative Awards for 2018’s BMW i Road to Coachella in the following categories:

Gold: Social Media Campaign

Silver: Online Campaign

Bronze: Engagement/Experiential

Small and medium-size agencies worldwide produce a great deal of outstanding advertising, yet creative competitions are dominated by large advertising agencies, large clients, and large budgets.

Since 1994, the Summit Creative Award has recognized creative firms and helped them stand out in the crowd. This international advertising competition offers participants a unique opportunity to showcase their talents alongside similarly positioned agencies, and to have their work judged by experts in the advertising field. Our exclusive award-selection process means winners have earned the right to broadcast their achievements far and wide.

Companies and individuals from more than 50 countries and across five continents have participated in this prestigious 25-year competition – the first and best of its kind.

The Summit Awards is the oldest and most prestigious organization administering marketing awards exclusively for small firms. Throughout our twenty-five year history, the SIA Creative Award is established as one of the premier indicators of creative and communication excellence. Using stringent evaluation criteria and a blind judging process, the Summit International Awards competitions reward only those firms whose work exemplifies the best in its class.

Read more about the Summit Awards here.

Us Weekly: Khalid and His New Album ‘Free Spirit’ Inspired the BMW i Festival Cars Heading to Coachella 2019

Posted by | News | No Comments

And if the painted flames and image of a wolf looks familiar to you, that’s because BMW i was inspired by Khalid’s new album ‘Free Spirit.’

And it’s a mutually beneficial partnership produced by Mirrored Media. Khalid admits to getting ideas for his music while on long drives in his BMW i. “I love road-tripping, hopping in my car and driving back home to El Paso is 12 hours each way from L.A. To me, BMW, especially BMW i8, is the embodiment of freedom on the road. I really feel like a free spirit when I’m driving and listening to music. I love making music that you can crank up and drive to with the windows down,” Khalid said in a press release.

Khalid BMW
Khalid BMW i

And Khalid isn’t the only A-lister heading down to Coachella in a funky car. ParisHiltonLena GerckeLaura Marano and other influencers will be traveling to the venue with BMW i a day before the festival begins to experience while exploring Palm Springs.

If you’re not lucky enough to get your own personalized automobile, fans of Khalid can check out the ‘Pit Stop’ at BMW of Palm Springs where visitors can purchase exclusive merchandise, enjoy a food truck and listen to great music.F

BMW i is supporting the event throughout weekends 1 and 2 from April 12-21.

Read the full article HERE at USWEEKLY.COM

Road To Coachella With Khalid – iHeart

Posted by | News | No Comments

Are you “Young Dumb & Broke?”  Are you looking for a “Better” way to get from the “Eastside” to Coachella?  Well here’s your chance to ride in style!  iHeartRadio has teamed up with Khalid and BMW i to send you to Coachella in a BMW i8!  That’s right, we’re giving you airfare to the Coachella Valley, hotel accommodations throughout the festival weekend, 2 VIP tickets and VIP passes to park your Khalid wrapped BMW!  All you need to do to is listen to Khalid radio on iHeartRadio and ENTER TO WIN!

Mirrored Media Named 2019 Eventex Awards Finalists in Two Categories for BMW i Road to Coachella

Posted by | News | No Comments

Mirrored Media Named 2019 Eventex Award Finalists in Two Categories for BMW i Road to Coachella

Eventex Awards – the most coveted and recognizable awards in the events world – has just announced the finalists in the 9th edition of the competition. This year the Global Eventex Awards has expanded its scope and reach to encompass all aspects of the event industry – events, suppliers, technologies, venues and more. А record number of 331 entries from 42 countries were competing in 77 categories to make it to the prestigious list of 178 finalists. Mirrored Media is honored to be named 2019 Eventex Awards finalists for the BMW i Road to Coachella campaign in two categories: Sponsorship Experience and Brand Activation Event

“Eventex Awards 2019 is a record-breaker. We’ve got an unprecedented number of entries from almost any part of the world this year. All of them are truly remarkable events, brands or suppliers that set the new benchmarks and trends in the events world. It’s a pleasure and honour to gather such amount of creativity in one place and be able to recognize the best of the best” comments Ovanes Ovanessian, co-founder of Eventex Awards.

Eventex Awards is famous for its complete transparency, stellar jury and innovation at every step. The 50+ judges are cherry-picked top influencers and thought leaders from the industry. The management of submissions and voting is done through the innovative Awards Management Software – Evalato that ensures easy application and a fair and uninfluenced judging process. Once the winners are announced, every entry, vote and comment is made public online. The People’s Choice category is decided by public voting. This year, the record number of 4747 people voted to select the top three in this category.

The official list of finalists could be seen here.

The winners will be announced on 26 March 2019 at the Eventex online ceremony – the peak of a new series of inspirational events ‘Eventex Creative Week’. To watch it, register for free here.