Electric vehicles are promoted around the world as being a key element in the fight against climate change as well as curbing oil use. Whether they are as eco-friendly as it’s being said or not, that’s up to experts to debate. Meanwhile, our focus is on the many players in the auto industry, which have announced their ambitious green plans, whether by introducing battery cars and plug-in hybrid options or by setting the dates for their upcoming car fleets, which will be completely fueled by electricity in the next future.
The automaker from Bavaria, BMW, revealed that 25 of its models will be electrified and will hit the road by 2023. While this is music to the environment’s ears, fans of the brand will have to venture into a different acoustic experience; With an electric future ahead, the car’s engines will be quieter, putting the iconic sound delivered by the BMW M engines in danger of fading into oblivion.
“A BMW M engine sound is something so unique that fans all over the world get goosebumps whenever they hear their roar,” says Creative Director, Andre Cout, at Serviceplan Middle East — the agency which found a creative way to preserve these sounds so they won’t be missed by current motorists nor by the next generation of car enthusiasts, who, as of now, have a chance to get a taste of how an M Engine sounds like.
Introducing the “Museum of Sound” campaign, a BMW Middle East initiative contoured as a “virtual gallery,” where BMW “exhibits” the sounds of some of its models part of its M line. The unique art series is available as an NFT collection, enabling new enthusiasts to discover the roar of an M engine and/or pump adrenaline into the hearts of current owners or fans — at least acoustically.
The audio library marks the brand’s entry into the NFT world and comprises a series of 19 such collectibles that capture the sounds of BMW M engines via the use of a bespoke data-visualizer. To bring the digital artwork to life, the team reached out to customers who own a BMW M, equipping the cars with high-fidelity microphones so that they can capture every audio detail made by the engines. Led by DTM champion Bruno Spengler, the sounds were then turned into NFTs, “minted for the owners and preserved forever.” The 19 NFTs were recorded on location at the Dubai Autodrome Club circuit.
“Museum of Sound came as an idea to immortalize these sounds and these feelings so the future generations can appreciate these masterpieces as unique NFTs that we gave to the most valuable BMW M fans, the owners,” continues Andre Couto.
In helping the audience better understand the steps behind the technical process, Serviceplan Middle East Senior Art Director, Kenneth Barnes, explained: “The owners followed a pace car driven by DTM Champion Bruno Spengler so that they could match his braking and track lines. Using external mics rigged near the exhaust, engine bay and in the cabin, we documented their rev-ups, downshifts, roars, and those crackles and pops. We were particular on the timing of the recording session, as the speed of sound is affected by wind, temperature, and humidity.”
“We converted the vehicle’s audio recordings to bend the sound wave into an abstract reactive art giving a unique visual experience and these were preserved as a 1 of 1 ethically-created NFTs. By making important logistical decisions such as using an environmentally friendly blockchain called Polygon, we were able to remind ourselves why we created the Museum of Sound, to begin with: We are moving towards a more sustainable world — regardless if that is through electric vehicles, or improved blockchain technology. These NFTs were used to unlock exclusive events to reveal concept cars and experiences,” Barnes concludes.
The audio/visual pieces of work are available at OpenSea — the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace. As the world moves towards a more electric future, the idea of capturing the distinctive sounds generated by a powerful BMW M engine is a nice way of quenching BMW drivers’ thirst for distinctive engine roars, feeding their memories with adrenaline-filled emotions.
Agency: Serviceplan Middle East
Client: BMW Middle East
General Manager: Natalie Shardan
Business Director: Karim Mroueh
Strategy Director: Frances Valerie Bonifacio
BMW Account Manager: Said Shaka
AGMC Account Manager: Gonca Gorgulu
Community Manager: Hadin Hassan
Global ECD: Jason Romeyko
Chief Creative Officer: Akhilesh Bagri
Creative Director: André Couto
Creative Director: Saleh Elghatit
Senior Art Director: Kenneth Barnes
Motion Graphic Designer: Cristian JB
Art Director: Alejandro Bucoy
Art Director: Artchie Belcena
Art Director: Saaniya Aabas
Art Director: Yasir Ali
Digital Art Director: Kai Schlosser
Digital Manager: Helmi Abdalhadi
International Communications Officer: Lee Sharrock
Event Planning: Memory Events
Post Production: Cold Cutz
Post Production: Big Foot Films
Head Of Marketing: Ali Kherallah
Marketing Manager: Mariam Al Rousan
Digital Marketing Manager: Fahad Mughal
Experiential Marketing Manager: Maziar Nazari
Marketing Director: Jochen Becht: Marketing Director
BMW M Community & Driving Experience Manager: Fabian Fuffieux
Marketing, PR & Events Executive: Arsal