BMW Made a Super Cool Eco-Friendly Catalog for Its i3 Electric Car

Completing the vehicle’s own sustainability cycle

Headshot of Angela Natividad

It’s probably rare to keep a car catalog around longer than the time it takes to make a purchasing decision, but BMW’s piece of work for the i3 may be worth the shelf space—assuming you get ahold of one. (For once, you actually have to buy the car first.)

The promotional guide is being marketed as the “world’s first fully sustainable car catalog.” Conceived by Israel’s Gitam BBDO, it’s composed of chip wood, rubber, glass, tin, artificial leather, marble, satin, corrugated cardboard, recycled paper, canvas … and even tarp from an old BMW billboard.

The catalog is a reflection of the car itself. BMW’s i3 model is 100 percent electric. The chassis is built with water power, through the growth of eucalyptus trees on factory grounds. Sheep raised on the outskirts of the plant—an environmentally friendly factory in Leipzig, Germany—provide wool for the car’s cushioning.

“We live in an era where advertising is no longer an advertisement, and the end product will not necessarily be a television commercial, or at least not the core of the campaign,” Gitam BBDO creative vp Eran Nir observes.

“Our mission was to tell the BMW i3’s unique story, and during our research and work process we realized that we can tell that story in a new way. Not only did we have a chance to create a sustainable car catalog, but we could actually complete the vehicle’s sustainability cycle. The result is a unique product that was not seen before, and a story told, in our opinion, in a way that the consumer will appreciate enough to stop and listen to it.”

To produce the catalog’s pages, materials were gathered from recycling centers throughout Israel. Each page is composed of a different element, from the rubber of old cutting boards to the synthetic leather of used upholstery—and even glass, from recycled bottles.

A flakeboard lined in sheep’s wool composes its packaging.

The i3 catalog was printed and placed in BMW showrooms in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv in February. i3 customers will also score a copy—not a bad piece of swag after spending about $45,000.

Check out more photos below.

Client: BMW
Agency: Gitam BBDO
Chief Executive Officer: Ido Har Tov
VP Creative Director: Eran Nir
Art Director: Daniele Vardi
Copywriter: Michel Perry
Print Producer: Nathan Darviany
VP Production / Content: Gali Starkman
Producer: Noy Kirilovsky
VP-Group Account Head: Jonathan Regev
Account Supervisor: Hagar Foigel
Account Executives: Sharon Dahan
VP Strategy: Guy Vingest
Planning: : Sivan Ivash
Production Company: Tifferet
Director: Meir Warcell
Post Production: Svetlana Putko, SoundTrack Studio

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@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.