Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

BMW Films

In 2001 BMW did something revolutionary with their marketing. The company produced The Hire: a collection of eight short films (about ten minutes each) made specifically for the internet. It was a big budget affair, staring Clive Owen known only as 'the driver' while directed by several accomplished and popular filmmakers. Each film had the finesse of a well-written story while seamlessly showing off particular aspects about BMW automobiles. It was considered one of the most regarded marketing stunts of that decade. BMW saw sales increase 12% that year as a result. Many of us who were not in the market to buy a car, much less a BMW, become instant fans of the brand. 

As you are well aware, I am a car guy and I was one of the many fans of that series. This past weekend I was reminded of BMW's foray into filmmaking when the company again announced a new set of short films under the same premise, this time called The Escape. Clive Owen remains as 'the driver' and having seen the first film, I'm sure BMW is set to see similar results as they did with The Hire. What they are truly doing though has nothing to do with increased sales - even if that is a rather nice side effect. 

BMW markets itself as the Ultimate Driving Machine. Their cars are engineered to be driven to a place few people will ever take them, the Ultimate. Yet, this is where they position their brand and sell their cars. People buy the car based what it can do, not what they actually do with it. This allows the drivers of their cars the confidence that their BMW will hold up under normal conditions because it was designed to hold up under extreme stress. 

Sprague is no different. We have consciously decided to pursue the hardest 10% in pest control - a space where our competition is unable or unwilling to pursue. It is our ability to flawlessly navigate these complicated commercial and industrial facilities that give us our competitive edge for the conventional environments. That slash on our uniforms and trucks tell our clients we can handle the routine, and when things go sideways, we've got that too.


Seattle in 1989