In 1949, BMW started production of its first post-war motorcycle. Featuring a single-cylinder engine, the R 24 was aligned to market requirements, but by no means suitable for racing. Therefore, BMW competed in post-war motorcycle racing events using pre-war machines, thus aiming to follow up on the strategy “raising awareness through racing success”.
Within virtually no time at all, BMW again became so successful that the company was to fall back on a proven advertising method of the 1930s for presenting victories and records – the template. From then on, BMW dispensed with specifically designed graphics that only focused on one individual sport event. The number of victories and records rendered this simply impossible. Instead, templates were crafted that left sufficient room to add current successes. General racing items such as laurel wreath, stopwatch or chequered flag became the dominant symbols. With the commencement of motorcycle production in 1949, BMW seamlessly continued with the advertising strategy of that period both in terms of content and form. Hans Noeth’s poster constitutes a typical example of such a template, merely the red and white lines giving reference to the “Swinging Fifties”. Not just the motorcycles, but also the advertising aesthetics originated from the pre-war period. This was not to change until the beginning of BMW automobile production.
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