In 2001, little did BMW know that they were about to set the standard for modern branded content. BMW tasked their agency, Fallon of Minneapolis, USA, to come up with something new – and they sure did.
It was a film series called The Hire, which would star a then-unknown Clive Owen in a role only known as The Driver. Each short film was directed independently by the likes of John Frankenheimer, Tony Scott, Joe Carnahan, and Guy Ritchie, who directed his wife at the time, Madonna, in what is arguably the most popular of the films, Star, which was singlehandedly responsible for the sale of thousands of E39 M5s. Scroll down to watch Star in its entirety.
The films starred a range of acting talent including James Brown (yes, that James Brown), Forest Whitaker, Don Cheadle, and Gary Oldman, but the real stars were, of course, the cars. In a stroke of advertising genius, each short was an outstanding piece of filmmaking and BMW’s products simply happened to be placed within them in roles that highlighted their performance and style.
On October 23, 2016, BMW Films returns with a one-off short film entitled The Escape and Clive Owen returns in his starring role as The Driver. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, The Escape also stars Dakota Fanning and Vera Farmiga.
While The Hire has been imitated by countless brands, none have ever duplicated the series’ magic. Mark your calendar now to visit BMWFilms.com at 6:00 PM Eastern on October 23 for the debut of The Escape. Which BMW will The Driver be driving? Tune in to find out.
For your enjoyment, we’ve scoured the Internet and found the entire The Hire series. Here they are in order:
The Hire: Ambush
The Hire: The Follow
The Hire: Chosen
The Hire: Star
The Hire: Powder Keg
The Hire: Hostage
The Hire: Ticker
The Hire: Beat The Devil
Images courtesy of BMW.