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Forbes: Q&A: Khalid On Cars, Coachella, Hanging With ‘The Rock,” Billie Eilish And More

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By: Steve Baltin, Contributor

It is quite a time to be Khaild. In the last two months, the 21-year-old has scored a No 1 album, Free Spirit; hobnobbed with Taylor Swift, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and many more at the Time 100, a gathering of those selected by the magazine as the most influential people; played Coachella and Lollapalooza shows in South America, and is getting ready to kick off his first arena tour.

So when I spoke with Khalid on a recent Friday afternoon as he got ready to play at Syracuse University that night there was a lot to discuss, from his BMW activation leading up to Coachella, to hanging with “The Rock,” his admiration for Billie Eilish and why he is still so grateful and appreciative of his fans.

Steve Baltin: Being at Time 100 were there those people for you outside of music you were excited to meet?

Khalid: I met “The Rock,” [Dwayne Johnson] had a personal conversation with him and it was super, super awesome. He was really nice. I kind of looked at it as us just meeting but then I saw he posted a picture of us on his Instagram story and he said that I have soul. I really appreciated that. I held that to my heart definitely.

Baltin: Because you do work with so many musicians it is almost more exotic and unique to meet people outside of music?

Khalid: In my life right now everything feels like a dream and it’s all unraveling in front of my own eyes. I’ve been really big on music, music has definitely been my forefront. It’s always super cool to step out of your element and go into a different world to see people that I’ve seen on TV cause I don’t know how it is to be an actor or to see people who are in politics or journalists. I don’t know how it is to be any of those things other than a musician, so it’s super cool. It really puts you into a different perspective because I’m like, “Wow, there’s so much talent in the world on every aspect.” Everyone deserves to be where they are, especially at the Time 100, everybody deserves their spot. I just happen to be acknowledging and appreciating the other 99. I was like, “Wow, I can’t believe I’m on the list myself.” It was definitely a blessing.

Baltin: I have found being at FORBES there are a lot of similarities in successful people, from business to athletes to musicians. Did you find talking with these people at Time 100 there was a lot in common?

Khalid: It was cool talking to Gayle [King] as well, me and “The Rock” and Gayle, we even took a selfie together. But before we took the selfie we had a conversation and she asked me and “The Rock,” “Where were you when you got that call? What were you guys doing and how did you feel?” And it was super interesting to hear, we all have different routines, to hear Gayle’s routine and to hear “The Rock”‘s routine. And then for me to be like, “Well, when I found out I was laying on the couch and I get a call. I called my mom immediately and I talked to her.” It was something that was super, super amazing, but that’s only three people out of 100 who all were given the Time 100. I don’t know how all of the people felt about what they received and how they held it to their hearts, but I could tell the energy of the room was genuine. Everyone was gracious, everyone was appreciative and they were all supportive because when I sang for everybody I was so nervous. But they showed me so much [love] because everybody has all been there, different levels. I haven’t been making music that long; I wrote my first song in 2015. A lot of the people who were in the room have been working for decades. So they’ve all been there, they’ve all been in my place, even having a conversation with Taylor Swift, this is her second time being on the list. And her first time, she told me, she was exactly where I was. I was a dreamer, we were all dreamers. We just so happened to accomplish our dreams and I think that’s beautiful.

Baltin: What was it about the Coachella activation and working with BMW that excited you?

Khalid: The activation I did with BMW and Coachella was something I was super interested in because I love BMW. Living in Germany for six years, my mom owned a three series and that’s the car I would say, sitting in the backseat as a 12-year-old, “I can’t wait to get in the front and drive.” When I bought my own car my car was also a BMW, a four series. Then I traded that in, now I have a M6 and I’m definitely gonna get another BMW. So I feel like it made the process easier for me business wise. I was so open to it because it was something I was extremely interested in and wanted to be a part of. I think across the board that’s the dream. Dreaming of having a car, dreaming of performing at Coachella, being on that stage. Cars are something I love so much; I’ve always been a fan of cars growing up. So it was really cool to see my little Free Spirit cars riding around town, seeing people from like Paris Hilton to whoever driving these cars.

Baltin: Since all of this is still so new for you as well and you can remember being a fan so recently, I imagine it’s even more important to interact with the fans as you did in this activation.

Khalid: Yeah, that’s why I do it. I was a fan first, I’m always a fan of music. I’m a fan to this day of so many different people and there are so many artists to this day who I would still love to meet and I would geek over. So it’s cool to know I have the relationship I do have with my fans. I feel like it’s very strong. I give it up to my fans because they make the time, dedicate time to travel hours sometimes to come and see me wherever I am, stop what they’re doing, leave work early, leave school early, whatever it is for a couple of minutes. So I make sure that every meeting I have with a fan I talk with them and give them what they deserve. That’s a personal conversation because we’re all humans. So to work with a business or activation that is very fan-driven, that is strictly for the fans, that is something I am so geared to because if I can show them my appreciation, whatever way I have to, that’s what I want to do. I always want me fans to feel they are appreciated by me. They’re the reason why, in 2017 I was doing 1,000 or 2,000-person rooms and now I’m going on an arena tour. That’s not because of me by myself, that’s because of the fans.

Baltin: The lead singer of Portugal The Man once told me a story of getting to listen to Led Zeppelin in a Cadillac with Neil Young at Bonnaroo. In honor of that who is the one band you would want to listen to and with which artist in a BMW?

Khalid: Oh my god (laughs), definitely I would want to listen to Fleetwood Mac with Kid Cudi. That would be the trippiest, most free spirited car ride ever. I feel like it would be euphoric.

Baltin: How is the album changing as you play it live?

Khalid: Coachella was already unbelievable and tonight I have a show in Syracuse and I am playing a couple of songs from the album live for the first time in a closed environment, something that is not festival like. And I’m actually really anxious, I’m nervous cause like you said, the fans control the album and they receive it whatever they want to. And I really hope that they sing the words as loud as they possibly can because then it’s going to change my perception of the music as well. It’s one thing to live with an album in a recording studio, but when you live with an album as you’re performing it live every night or other night the songs start to change meaning, they start to hold different messages, you start to see what songs resonate with fans. And when you’re in America or go to Europe or Asia all the songs end up creating their own energy and that’s what I love the most about it. I love recording the songs, that’s definitely a fun process. But performing the songs live, you can’t recreate that feeling, especially having my dancers on the stage with me. We always have a good time and it’s always the best, the music feels way better.

Baltin: Are there particular songs that really stand out to you to do live?

Khalid: I did “Out Of My Head” this past weekend for Coachella and that was amazing, and “Twenty One,” which is also one of my favorite songs off the album. These are songs that I feel like when I was in the studio I strictly wrote for performing them live. I am so excited to perform them live and I feel like those songs are going to change for me. And hopefully the fans like them because I can’t wait for this tour. This tour is gonna be my favorite, the best tour I have ever done. It’s gonna be an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see the fans.

Baltin: Are there artists you’ve watched grow and you admire their evolution?

Khalid: I saw one of Billie Eilish’s first performances a couple of years back and it was at this venue where you had to be a certain age, either 18 up or 21 up and she was like 15 or 16 at the time, it was super interesting to see all these people who were adults, some of them well into their adulthood, and they’re watching this 15-year-old girl. You could see the star power, but you could see how shy she was, how new everything was. And then I saw her at Coachella, I went both weekends. I saw the energy both crowds had, I saw the energy she brought to both crowds, I saw how she controlled the crowd by completely being the true inspiration of herself in the moment. I could see the youth, it was almost radiating off her, just her jumps, how care free she was. She looked free and I can’t wait to see her on tour because she’s definitely one of my favorite shows that I’ve been to.

Mirrored Media was proud to produce BMW’s #RoadtoCoachella campaign for the third year, with Khalid as the featured artist of 2019.

Check out the whole article at Forbes.com.

Event Marketer: COACHELLA ROUNDUP: BMW Road to Coachella

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April 19, 2019

Spring’s hottest ticket is about to fringe and flaunt its way into a second weekend. We’re talking Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the trendsetting, celebrity hotspot that boasts some pretty epic experiential marketing programs on top of epic performances. Ahead of the Indio, CA festival’s second and final weekend, April 19-21, we offer our roundup of the brands that have come out to play in the desert.

BMW

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For the last two years, BMW has leveraged key partnerships and a fleet of its vehicles to document what the “Road to Coachella” looks  like for influencers and musicians. To maintain its festival narrative and build on its legacy at this year’s event, the automaker again partnered with influencers and a key artist to deliver Road to Coachella content, but its on-site presence for the first time took the form of a “Pit Stop.”

At the heart of the program was Khalid, a Coachella headliner and the biggest musician BMW has worked with to-date. Riding on the success of the April 5 release of his album “Free Spirit,” the contemporary soul artist (and BMW driver) helped the brand outfit an assortment of its vehicles to match the aesthetic of the album cover, which features flames and a wolf. The theme of the campaign: youthful joy and freedom.

WATCH: KHALID REVEALS HIS OWN ROAD TO COACHELLA

Ahead of Coachella’s opening weekend, BMW’s influencer partners, including personalities like Paris Hilton, Laura Marano and Ross Butler, each headed to Palm Springs in a newly decked-out BMW and, of course, documented their journey on social media. Riding on that initial buzz, Khalid then announced his Road to Coachella Pit Stop to fans online.

The Pit Stop, which was located at the BMW of Palm Springs dealership and was open to guests Thursday through Sunday of Coachella’s opening weekend, was home to an array of exclusive merchandise, the “Free Spirit” fleet of BMWs and Khalid’s own van, also designed to match the artist’s album cover. In addition, there was a claw machine that gave fans a chance to snag custom Khalid Road to Coachella bandanas (which could be custom embroidered on-site), food trucks, games, music and, on Saturday—a visit from Khalid himself. Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.

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Photo courtesy: BMW


Check out the full article HERE on EventMarketer.com

Forbes Feature: How Big Brands Are Reaching New Audiences At Coachella

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By Yola Robert, Contributor

Coachella
Coachella CHRISTOPHER POLK FOR TEEN VOGUE.

Coachella has become one of the biggest festivals in the country with over 125,000 attendees each weekend this past year which does not include the number of people that travel to the area for the parties or activations. It is estimated that Golden Voices’ Coachella and Stagecoach generate approximately $900 million in economic activity around the Coachella Valley area. With the majority of attendees contributing to the almost billion dollars in economic activity consisting of Gen Z and millennials, major brands have the opportunity to build relationships with new audiences that they would not typically interact with otherwise.

“For brands, identifying influencers is easy. Paying them to post is easier. Building a trusting relationship where both sides can add value to the other (without feeling used) is the ultimate challenge. ‘Return On Influence’ is the new ROI,” says Christopher Rockwell of LOVE, a brand strategist who helps companies like Audi, Fendi, and Google. 

Revolve has proven that activating at Coachella is a must for brands looking to boost revenues while staying culturally relevant. But Revolve isn’t the only brand that shines its presence in the desert; Express, BMW, American Express, Create & Cultivate, Rachel Zoe, Levi’s and Neon Carnival have all invested in creating an experience to connect with existing customers while reaching a new audience.

BMW

Kahlid next to the Khalid designed BMW i8 for #roachtocoachella.
Khalid next to the Khalid designed BMW i8 for #roadtocoachella. BMW

BMW returned to the desert for #roadtocoachella produced by Mirrored Media with Khalid as their 2019 artist. Khalid designed the art for a fleet of BMW i8’s to be driven down to the popup by influencers and celebrities. At the popup, fans got to meet Khalid, shop the collab merch and test out the i8’s. BMW has taken an unconventional approach in making its activation more about a lifestyle rather than a car.

“As the world´s most vibrant music and art festival, Coachella is an ideal match from a brand perspective. At BMW, joy is in our DNA, and with experiences like #roadtocoachella, we are able to connect authentically, yet unconventionally with young (at heart) people in a very emotional way. Coachella broadens our community from an automotive company to a more accessible & inspiring lifestyle mobility brand.”  Stefan Ponikva head of BMW events and BMW group shows.

Check out the full article HERE on Forbes.com

BMWi and Khalid Open Pit Stop, Bring Influencers on #RoadtoCoachella

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Munich. BMW i is once again one of the official partners of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2019. For the last two years, BMW i has been building up to the festival on social media with #RoadtoCoachella and is also showcasing a unique Coachella design for its BMW i models. The striking look featuring flames and the image of a wolf is inspired by the current album cover of global superstar Khalid.

“The variety of live concerts at Coachella Festival is a great playground for creativity. At Coachella, the internationally most famous stars of the industry meet the most enthusiastic audience. Innovation and inspiration are the values that BMW i shares with the iconic festival, making it an ideal partner. We look forward to working with the festival and Khalid, one of the most exciting artists of contemporary soul music and a passionate BMW driver“, says Stefan Ponikva, Head of BMW Brand Experience Shows & Events.

“I love road-tripping, hopping in my car and driving back home to El Paso is 12 hours each way from LA. 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.”

-Khalid

Khalid is one of the most popular artists of his generation. It is therefore no surprise that Khalid is one of the headline acts at the upcoming Coachella festival. He inspired the festival fleet of vehicles for BMW i based on the cover of his new album ‘Free Spirit’. The Road to Coachella embodies the Free Spirit mentality of a fun road trip with friends to one of the greatest music festivals.

Some of the best-known international names will travel to the venue with BMW i a day before the festival begins to experience the design of the BMW i Coachella fleet for themselves and to explore Palm Springs. Follow the hashtag #RoadtoCoachella to virtually join Paris Hilton, Lena Gercke, Laura Marano and other influencers.

In addition to the actual festival programme, there is also something special in store for fans of Khalid. Together with BMW i, the singer will open a ‘Pit Stop’, where exclusive merchandise will be available for purchase. BMW of Palm Springs (3737 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264 USA) will be transformed into a must see fan experience away from the festival site with music, a food truck and other lifestyle initiatives. Khalid will announce the exact opening times himself on social media. 

The creative design interpretation of BMW i electric vehicles reflects the special, diverse spirit of the festival. Coachella is once again taking place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. BMW i is supporting the event over the entire period from 12 to 21 April 2019. Almost 200 acts will thrill thousands of international visitors over the two weekends.

Mirrored Media is proud to partner with both BMW i and Khalid to bring this collaboration to life for Coachella 2019. Follow #RoadtoCoachella on social media to see the fleet head to Indio for both weekends of Coachella. Read more on BMW.com

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

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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

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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 Wins Three 1st Place Vega Digital Awards

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MIRRORED MEDIA WINS THREE 1ST PLACE VEGA DIGITAL AWARDS

 Now in its third year, International Awards Associates (IAA) proudly announces the winners of its 2018 Vega Digital Awards.

Mirrored Media has won 1st place Canopus recognition for their BMW i #RoadtoCoachella in three categories: Social Campaign, Viral Marketing, and Influencer Marketing

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 blends music, inspired design, technology, sustainable mobility, and the journey that fans and artists take on their now road to Coachella. 

The Vega Digital Awards is an international competition for creative professionals who inspire with concept, writing or design, through electronic media. “Once again, we are pleased to recognize the stellar achievements of small and medium-sized web design and advertising companies. These winners are the guiding lights of the global digital communications universe,” said Kenjo Ong, President of IAA. “This year’s winners represent the very best in both established and emerging talent.’”

Vega Digital Awards is administered and judged by IAA’s panel of internationally-recognized creative professionals, who select winners based on rigorous standards of excellence. Mirrored Media joins the list of previous winners, some from such diverse companies and brands as BMW, TED, Mastercard, Ford, Allianz Global Investors, Lionsgate Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Music Group, Longines, Subaru, MINI, Airbus, Amalgamated Bank, Welder Watch and Royal Canin.

Entries in 325 professional and student categories including, for the first time in 2018, Virtual Reality and 360 Video, Video Channels and Networks, Audio and Owned Media.

This year’s Vega Digital Awards competition included 1,500 entries from 47 countries. “Our field of entries continues to expand, worldwide,” Ong said, noting that student submissions also came from a large number of countries. “Their creative talent continues to be truly outstanding and inspiring.”

IAA – 4 International Awards Competitions, 10,000++ Entries, 50+ Countries, 100+ International Judges

Event Marketer: “WINNERS ANNOUNCED: THE 2018 EXPERIENCE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY AWARDS”

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WINNERS ANNOUNCED:

THE 2018 EXPERIENCE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY AWARDS

The editors of Event Marketer announce the winners of the 2018 Experience Design & Technology Awards, the world’s largest—and only—recognition program celebrating the best use of design, social media and event technology to enhance live experiences. This year’s “best and brightest” were recognized at an awards luncheon at EventTech in Las Vegas. Mirrored Media is honored to announce that we have won bronze in two categories:

BEST DIGITAL + LIVE CAMPAIGN

Bronze Winner
Campaign: Road to Coachella

Client: BMW
Partner: Mirrored Media

BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Bronze Winner
Campaign: Road to Coachella

Client: BMW
Partner: Mirrored Media

Read the entire article HERE
Posted on November 14th, 2018 by Event Marketer

Mirrored Media named finalists for two 2018 Content Marketing Awards

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PR Daily has revealed the finalists for the 2018 Content Marketing Awards, which recognizes brand storytellers who know their way around a clickable headline, a viral video, or a fleeting social trend. Storytelling is the most valuable skill a communicator can have today. The platforms we use to tell our stories, along with how those stories meet larger business goals, can make all the difference when measuring content marketing success. Mirrored Media is honored to announce that we’ve been named as finalists for two 2018 Content Marketing Awards for our BMW i Road to Coachella Campaign.

  • Brand Awareness
  • Influencer Content Marketing 

Click HERE to learn more about this year’s finalists, and stay tuned for the winners announcement, which will be published in a couple of weeks.

BMW Premier Partner Experience Tour

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BMW Premier Partner Experience Tour

In order to highlight BMW’s partnership and employee discount program Mirrored Media teamed up with the automotive giant to present an exclusive experience for team members at each of these western region company locations. The BMW Premier Partner Experience gave guests an opportunity to learn more about, and even test drive, several models from the BMW family.

From 10am – 5pm, registered employees were able to stop by the activation, located on a large portion of the campus’ parking lot, and become fully immersed in the BMW brand. Upon entering, guests were given BMW-branded reusable water bottles provided by S’well. They were greeted with two standout BMWs on display both sitting on custom on-brand platforms. Employees were invited to take a seat inside each car, while BMW produce geniuses were on hand to offer more information and assistance. Guests were also invited to step into the photo booth, which featured a co-branded custom step and repeat.

A large branded BMW semi-truck provided a backdrop for the VIP lounge. Located adjacent to the truck, and covered by a large BMW canopy, this carpeted area featured several perks for employees to enjoy, including:

  • Gourmet donuts
  • Gourmet coffee bar
  • Cold Refreshments
  • Two TVs featuring branded content
  • White lounge furniture
  • Floral decor and planters
  • BMW music playlist

The highlights of the day were the three exhilarating driving experiences. Guests had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of 13 BMWs, including the i3, M2, M4 Convertible, X5, 530e, or X6, for an exclusive test drive in one of three scenarios:

  • Accel/Decel: Drivers accelerate rapidly then hit the brakes on a closed course
  • Slalom: Drivers hug tight corners between cones on a closed course
  • Neighborhood Street Drive: Drivers were able to take the cars for a test drive around the neighborhood with a product specialist.

Oracle HQ

San Diego Gas and Electric

Southern California Edison

First American