The Best Work You May Never See: Serviceplan Middle East, Director William Armstrong Come Forward For BMW


Robert Goldrich
Friday, Jan. 20, 2023


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“Forwardism comes home” is the new BMW 7 Series campaign created by Serviceplan Middle East, the centerpiece being this film in which we see unique metal birds connecting the aluminum sustainably sourced in the region all the way to the development of the new BMW 7, and follow them on a journey through some of the most iconic landscapes in the Middle East.

William Armstrong directed the piece via Boomtown Productions.

In 2022, BMW Group forged a global partnership with Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the UAE’s largest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, to be the first customer for its new CelestiAL aluminum. The first of its kind, this aluminum is locally produced using solar power generated at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The “Forwardism” film premiered during December 2022 at private screenings across the Middle East, attended by BMW’s VIP clientele and key stakeholders.

Serviceplan Middle East worked closely with BMW during a six-month period to bring the creative idea for the “Forwardism” campaign to life.

Serviceplan Middle East creative director André Couto commented: “It’s not every day that we have the chance to create a film that breaks the conventional imagery of automotive ads. Instead of talking about horsepower, engines and driving technologies, we chose to highlight the genesis of the car and its materials--it’s a matter of great prestige that BMW Group uses aluminum that is sourced here in the Middle East and produced using solar power. It was this historic partnership that inspired us to create this film and tell this story.”

In an electrified vehicle, CO2 emissions from the use phase are much lower, but producing battery cells or aluminum is extremely energy-intensive. The BMW Group not only wants to stop this trend, but also reverse it--and even lower CO2 emissions per vehicle by 20% from 2019 levels.

BMW Group are targeting a 5% reduction in global CO2 use-phase emissions by 2030 and 40% reduction in CO2 emissions during the entire life cycle of a vehicle. Rethinking how they source and use energy is crucial to achieve such ambitious targets. Since 2019, 100 percent of electricity used for BMW Group’s Plants worldwide has been from renewable energy sources. This also includes the groundbreaking partnership with EGA, which provided BMW with aluminum using solar power. In 2021, 100 percent of solar aluminum produced by EGA was sourced exclusively to BMW Group.

Aluminum is lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable, and that is why it has an important role to play in developing a more sustainable society and making modern life possible. One key example of this is by improving the efficiency of vehicles through reducing their weight. But it also matters how sustainably aluminum is made. Solar aluminum is a step forward--it uses a natural and abundant source of energy in the desert environment to make a metal that is vital to our planet’s future.

This milestone move is expected to reduce BMW Group’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2.5 million tons over a 10-year period.


Client BMW Group Middle East Ali Kherallah, head of marketing; Mariam Al Rousan, marketing communications manager. Agency Serviceplan Middle East Rami Hmadeh, Natalie Shardan, manager partners; Frances Valerie Bonifacio, head of strategy; Jason Romeyko, worldwide executive creative director; Akhilesh Bagri, chief creative officer; Andre Couto, Saleh Elghatit, Natalie Sharden, creative directors; Yasir Ali Baloshi, Kenneth Barnes, Kunai Gagwani, art directors; Aashna Gopalkrishnan, Zein Sadedin, Karim Mroueh, copywriters. Production Company Boomtown Productions William Armstrong, director; Shane Martin, exec producer; Pratixa Shah, producer; Deo Van Zyl, DP; Mannu Singh, post producer; Neda Ahmed, editor; Nicolas Martinez, VFX supervisor; Olaia Casal, VFX EP; Viciana NIno, VFX producer. Color Eighty4 Marc Insa, colorist. Music 10db Denmark Anders Vesterdahl, music. Sound Design ElCamino Helsinki Niko Henttonen, sound designer. Qatar Line Production Resolution Films KSA Line Production LetterGray, Riyadh.  Asker Afaunov, DIT; Hatim Saleh, aerial coorindator; Preet Kalra, art director; Kamal Farjallah, wardrobe stylist; Kat Allen, hair & makeup; Matteo Granziol, location manager; Gayan Gurusinghe, unit manager.

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