Was it okay because it was a diesel?
The ad starts off by representing the traditional diesel car as a smokey, slow and sometimes unreliable form of motoring. But then it contrasts that stereotype by launching a BMW 335d sideways onto the street to then overtake an old 1970s Volvo on the other side of the road. (Of course a 2011 model car is going to be able to overtake an old Volvo going up a hill anyway.)
A lot of illegal, dangerous and unnecessary driving was portrayed during the ad - which was also amplified by screeching tyres and a heavily accelerating engine.
There's a reason for this though. Diesel cars in America are still relatively scarce. Last year, diesel car sales only made up 2.6 percent of the light vehicle market - a rise from 2.2 percent share in 2009. Americans are yet to completely trust the diesel engine as a viable means of transport, and certainly aren't ready to trust it as a form of performance motoring. So to help break through that old stereotype, BMW had to come up with something loud and flamboyant, even if it meant getting the ad banned.
BMW did get away with it though. The sideways action was simply accompanied by some text towards the bottom of the screen, reading, 'Professional driver closed course. Do not attempt'. If only all ads could be justified with a simple message here in Australia.
Either way, it was sure to make a big impact on American motorists. Take a look for yourself and tell us what you think.
The car in question is a BMW 335d - a model BMW Australia, unfortunately, does not sell. The engine can be found in the BMW 535d though, producing 220kW of power and a whopping 600Nm of torque.