Ah, the ’90s–a decade that marked the mainstreamification of grunge, Backstreet Boys, Friends, JNCO jeans, and “Internet.” Before it was the Internet, it was just Internet. In BMW’s new Super Bowl ad, we see TV hosts Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel on The Today Show in 1994 debating the meaning and logic behind a simple email address. Fast-forward 20 years and the two are sitting in a shiny new, electric BMW i3 and discussing its many futuristic features in much the same manner.
The ad, by agency KBS, eschews a lot of the familiar faux gravitas of big car ads in favor of some lighthearted prediction of our technological future. It doesn’t get bogged down in details, instead assuring us that its innovation is on par with one that’s changed our lives considerably since 1994.
The fact Couric is now plying her trade at Yahoo adds another layer of chuckles at the ’94 footage. She talked about that Internet chat with Gumbel in a recent interview with Fast Company, assuring us all she’s more with the times now. “There’s a tech language now that I’m getting more familiar with . . . ‘We’re whiteboarding it so we can socialize it up the pipeline!” [Laughs] But I don’t think I could be categorized as a techie.”