BMW Digital Art Auction At Contact Photo Festival

BMW Canada blends its cars with art as its activates its sponsorship rights at the annual Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival with an online art auction.


The premium auto brand seeks new, young, aspirational consumers through its ties to the Toronto photography festival and its auction showcases a set of unique prints featuring BMW vehicles taken by Canadian artists.


The participating cameramen and women are tasked with shooting slick, high-tech executions that capture the brand’s core character and values for a collection called ‘Driven By Design’.


The shots themselves include visually striking landscapes and abstract images.



Art fans can bid on the works, opening at $250, with funds raised going to the Air Canada Foundation (which supports ill and impoverished Canadian children).


This auction runs until the autumn and the work can be seen at the campaign website at BMWArtAuction.ca.


The initiative is developed with agency Cundari – which also acts as the curator for the campaign.


Prior to the final exhibition, the artworks appear in various Air Canada lounges across Canada including Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.




This is the fourth year of the project, but the first in which it has linked with the Scotiabank backed Contact Photography Festival – where BMW also sponsors a $5,000 exhibition prize at the Contact Festival.


‘We worked with the artists at each of the photo shoots,’ says Cundari Group Account Director Natasha Wookey. ‘BMW has had a background in the arts for 35 years, including their Art Car initiative, and they were looking for a way to generate brand awareness in a different realm.’


‘We suggested that we get artists who were featured within the festival and who have the relationship with Contact to curate some new pieces of art using BMW.”


As a premium car marquee, BMW has long aimed to position itself as not simply a vehicle manufacturer, but as a brand committed to design and art both in its own products and in the platforms its supports through sponsorship.


The brand has long associated itself with arts projects and its work in this space dates back to the mid 1970s when it first launched its BMW Art Car initiative.


A program that has since led to 17 artists – from Warhol and Lichtenstein, to Koons and Holzerand – repaint BMW cars.


Thus, this campaign fits neatly with its target consumer segment who are likely to be interested in art and to frequent airport business lounges.


BMW joins Nikon and title sponsor Scotiabank has the main backers of the world’s biggest annual celebration of the photographic arts.


Every year, the festival brings together some 1,500 national and international artists at more than 175 venues throughout Toronto.


As a central plank of the title sponsors rights, Scotiabank recognises a leading Canadian photographer with the annual Scotiabank Photography Award (the largest and most prestigious photography award in Canada).




BMW Art Auction YouTube



BMW Art Auction Website



BMW ArtCar Website






Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival Website



Featured Showcases