Zeus and a BMW EV – the magic of one of the most-watched spots ever!

Published: March 14, 2023

min read

It has been rated as one of the three most-watched video ads. The 60-second spot is about a car and Zeus and his wife, who have had to move to Palm Springs.

Simplistic as I made it sound, there is nothing even remotely simple or ordinary about the spot.

Zeus is no ordinary mortal with a fancy name, but is the God of thunder and lightning and his wife is Hera, and they have an adorable little Peggy, Pegasus! It is no ordinary car either – the spot features BMW’s ix, an electric car. The spot has an all-star cast, with Arnold Schwarzenegger himself playing Zeus, opposite a very svelte Salma Hayek as Hera.

And the spot was BMW’s contribution to the magic that is Super Bowl, in 2022. The commercial comes from Goodby Silverstein & Partners with Bryan Buckley directing.

It all starts with Zeus who is not so happy charging a golf cart or a hedge trimmer – it is quite a fall from lightning and thunder and all the pizazz of Mount Olympus – and his wife Hera decides to bring the magic back by giving him a BMW ix electric car.

The fully-charged up duo cruises in the electric SUV, singing along to Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue,” and Zeus uses his powers to turn all the traffic lights, green.

Breaking it all down

At the heart of the very sharp marketing strategy behind this is, is making YouTube a core part of this campaign. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

YouTube is a great amplifier of content, which not only increased the audience size exponentially but extended the longevity of the spot. What ran once during the Super Bowl lives online and has received millions of additional views.

Albrecht Pagenstert,

Head of Brand Marketing at BMW.

During the Super Bowl last year, this spot was a huge hit, earning the 7th spot in the USA Ad Meter. It was a huge hit on YouTube. BMW tapped into this and strategized to release more content to keep the fans happy! There was a lot of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the stars and the director of this spot. According to Think with Google, the video drove 17 million unique views and 970,000 clicks. And several fans have commented under it asking for this ad to be made into a full-length movie.

BMW used YouTube AdBlitz, the premier destination of all fans who want to watch the most funny or action-packed or inspirational spots. This is the avenue through which BMW could target specific Super Bowl-related video inventory, such as NFL Highlights that is keenly followed and watched by sports lovers. They could also target the Big Game Music Lineups that audiophiles flock to.

Video is a powerful story-telling tool – that can really take a brand places. It can tell a great story and explain the various features of a product you are trying to sell. Customers take to videos a lot and see them as an important part of their journey with brands. They expect to see videos from brands, looking to them for information as they make purchasing decisions or research. Videos are easy to consume – they don’t need to read long reams of content to connect with a brand. It really pays for brands to include videos in their marketing strategy.

The 60-second spot is a great example of bringing a Hollywood movie in a minute to its audience. There is a great story line, fabulous stars and a protagonist with magical powers – and who better to play that role than Arnie! BMW got Arnold Schwarzenegger to dangle some kind of teasers on his social media accounts first – that got a whole lot of buzz (1.7 million likes) and got many wondering if he was making a new movie!

Celebrities and influencers have their huge following – which is again, great for brands when they sign up the big names to partner with them.

All in all, this is pure magic – and it certainly worked great for BMW and this spot!


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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