Ad Age reports today that BMW is leaving the arena of branded entertainment. "The primary reason for BMW’s new backseat approach: Branded entertainment is just getting too expensive. According to executives close to the client and experts in Hollywood, BMW doesn’t have the marketing dollars to ink entertainment deals at a time when integration fees and marketing requests from film or TV partners are escalating."
All that may be true, but don't count on BMW leaving branded entertainment. That would be like saying its killing off its TV or print budget.
BMW set the standard for branded entertainment, especially as it concerns Internet films. The company is amidst a review for a new ad agency, and all options are open. In fact, the company has specifically asked agencies to strategize on what area/media BMW can blaze trails in next. Inevitably, that will encompass branded entertainment on some level, though, sadly, it probably means an end to the company's Net films, at least for a while.
As much as I would like to see BMW continue the Hire series of films or perhaps launch a new serial, BMW is one of those companies that likes to leave something on the table...get out a day early rather than stay a day late. Get out branded content? I don't think so.