BMW 8 Series Coupe Drives Down Venice Canal

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BMW’s new commercial for the 8 Series has a great concept, but the timing is unfortunate.

The first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible may have broken cover this week, but customer deliveries of the 8 Series Coupe are kicking off in just a few weeks. As a result, BMW’s promotional campaign for the Coupe is shifting into high gear. What is the best way to promote a luxury grand-tourer? By having it drive down the Canal Grande in Venice, apparently.

The stunt was filmed for a new commercial showing the luxury sports car driving through the historical centre of Venice. After driving under the Rialto bridge, the new BMW 8 Series makes its way along the famous Canal Grande – a route never covered before by an automobile.

To film the stunt, BMW set up pontoons along Venice’s waterways that allowed the 8 Series to drive in a city where gondolas, vaporetti and small motorboats are the main modes of transport. Local authorities even gave BMW permission to build the pontoon structure for the first time in the city’s history.

The commercial centers on a young Venetian boy who loves BMWs. Since boats are the sole means of transport Venice, pushing his model BMW M1 down a stair rail is the closest he’ll ever get to fulfilling his automotive fantasies. Years later, he returns to Venice and fulfils his driving dreams in the 8 Series Coupe.

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The scenes were partially shot using camera drones and will be broadcast worldwide on selected TV channels and online. It's a great concept and very memorable, but the timing of the commercial is perhaps unfortunate given that Venice is currently experiencing the worst flooding in a decade to the point that 75 percent of the city is now underwater.

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