Journal: 1950s BMW Ad Animates the Isetta

1950s BMW Ad Animates the Isetta

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
July 19, 2013

Post-war German public transportation infrastructure was a far cry from the clean, punctual, and efficient systems they’ve become since—underfunding, overcrowding, and limited routes made inner-city commuting very difficult for the majority of Germans unable to afford a car.

BMW, whose own finances and production capacity were also in a rather precarious situation as a result of the war, saw an opportunity to help rebuild both their country and themselves through the marketing of a small, affordable city car. Without the capital or resources to design their own car, Munich turned to Italian refrigerator manufacturer Iso (later of Grifo fame) for rights to build their own version of the Isetta—the rest, as they say, is history.

We’ve reported on this story in a more in-depth way, but we had to bring it up again, at least in brief, to serve as an intro for the simultaneously hilarious and fascinating animated short BMW used to advertise the Isetta in the early 1950s. Though narrated in German, the looks on the faces of both the cars and people within are universal. Putzig!


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The video made me think a bit. I suppose, in some ways, my fascination with cars probably came from the period that I grew up in, you know, when cars were bit more special. Not that they (cars) were, but our perception of cars were slightly different. Owning a car back then wasn’t quite like owning a car today…

john tolle
john tolle