Is Schabir Shaik a closet BMW salesman?

2011-03-21 07:38

I'm not altogether sure the people at BMW enjoy their association with Schabir Shaik, but they are getting some quite extraordinary publicity for their 7-series cars and in particular the nifty little automatic boot closing device.

When Shaik hit the headlines again last week by being arrested, put in jail, immediately moved into hospital and then almost as quickly sent home again, TV news bulletins showed him driving his shiny black Beemer. Over and over again.

Now either the TV networks don't have any video material of Shaik doing anything else but driving his car or he is a closet salesman doing what appears to be a fantastic selling job for BMW.

Would you still aspire to drive a BMW in spite of seeing all this Shaikcentric advertising? Or, would you buy another brand on principle? Come on, be honest now. Let's have your comments below.

For months during his trial TV coverage consisted to a large degree of showing Shaik arriving in his black 7 series and then leaving once again in his Beemer but never without showing one of his lackeys pressing the little button on the boot and having it whoosh down quietly and almost imperceptibly clunk closed.

All publicity is good publicity

Both and SABC cameramen seem to have been absolutely fascinated with this boot closing feature and by now I would imagine it has probably set a world record for the amount of publicity given to any single feature of a motor car on public television.

Frankly, if I were still working for BMW I would be delighted and wouldn't give a toss about being associated with someone who is accused of all sorts of nefarious things. In this case all publicity is good publicity because people who buy 7-series Beemers usually have the intelligence to realise that the car and the man are two completely separate things. And that BMW is certainly not responsible for who buys their cars.

Having said that, however, BMW have been extremely active in the TV and movie industries for at least the past decade or two with what they call product placement cars. It is good publicity. But, they do care a lot about who is seen to be driving them. So much so, that if the Schabir Shaik Show was a fictional movie, he wouldn't get to drive the Beemer.

They have fleets of cars in all major movie-making centres that are available free of charge to TV feature and documentary makers as well as producers of mainstream movies.


But, there is one little proviso - the Beemers are not allowed to be used by the bad guys in a movie. Which is why in most feature movies today only the heroes get to drive the Beemers.

This is becoming more and more a part of marketing and there is no doubt that as conventional advertising on cinema and TV screens gets more and more cluttered and as technology allows TV viewers to watch their favourite programmes on demand, which in turn will mean they'll be able to "zap" out the ads, product placement will become a far greater force in advertising.

It’s already happening and its very effective.

Next time you watch a soap opera try and drag your concentration away from what little plot there is and try and spot the product placement. It’s exactly the same with sitcoms these days and personally I think this is a wonderfully effective compromise (if it’s handled properly, which means subtly) between viewers' reaction against commercials interrupting programmes and the need to pay for programmes with ad revenue.

Future of advertising

As long as product placement is not contrived and intrusive, it works a treat. And best of all, it’s an absolute cinch to measure.

It’s the future of advertising.

But, the big question is should Schabir Shaik get given the latest model 7-series from BMW? He has been doing a crack-up job for them.

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  • Benzo - 2011-03-21 08:24

    Chris, you got my attention for something that totally escaped me and a little long-winded and repetitive at that. Are you part of the BMW marketing crowd? For me? BMW = expensive to buy, to maintain, to insure, to fill-up, too big to park and taking too much space on the over-crowded roads.

      CooP - 2011-03-21 11:06

      ...and always the one parked on the verge with the bonnet open when it's raining.

      buzz - 2011-03-22 10:33

      ... and driven by the likes of Shaik and that scaly Beeka...

      Zanu - 2011-03-22 13:03

      If Schabir Shaik a closet BMW salesman... Then Malema owns Aston Martin, has shares in BMW, and sits on the board of Range Rover. May I remind you... He is the leader of the YOUTH league... yeas YOUTH. Pathetic.

  • Solo-JHB - 2011-03-21 08:28

    Chris, didnt you know? BMW stands for "Black Man's Wish".

      3-D - 2011-03-21 08:53

      @ Solo-JHB open your eyes mate, it's now 'Black Man's Wheels'.

      Leboke - 2011-03-22 12:04

      That's bloody racist! Shouldn't black people own BMW's? Let people buy what they love and can afford, stop with the didotic race card. Yes I'm black and have driven the BMW, although I now have a Jaguar in my fleet. I worked for my cars, very hard. Proud black!!!!

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 12:23

      Leboke get used to these racial stereotypes and by the way I like a Jaguar more than a BMW. The X5 is cute though

      Zanu - 2011-03-22 13:22

      Underworld boss Cyril Beeka was murdered in “The cute X5”, as paulmandlankosi called it... Coming to think of it... it does seem most criminals choose BMW... I wonder why?... would make a great case study I Guess… I drive a Honda TypeR… I thought it had killer looks… looks like I should of invested in a Beemeer rather…

      BLACKMAMBA - 2011-03-22 21:04

      bmw was called a bicycle in soweto even during apatheird times.i have the E46 M3,phoenix rims.

  • 3-D - 2011-03-21 08:56

    @ Chris, you sure make a good point and I love the spin. As a BMW owner, I have to side with Shaik when it comes to that selection of 'hero's car'. After all, if the good guys are driving them, can you blame him for the attempted 'disguise'...hahaha.. With regard the endorsement...come on, if zé Germans gave you one of their toys, I'm sure you would show it off for them...just not too convinced they'd give/should give anything to old Shabby.

  • Buzz - 2011-03-21 09:00

    Maybe BMW is already doing product placement with Shaik, that's why he always has the flashy beemers...

  • Judith - 2011-03-21 09:08

    Thanks for the amusement! I object to these flashy cars for the same reasons as SAtoStay and also because most of their drivers cannot park and never obey traffic rules

      as i see it - 2011-03-21 10:02

      Jealousy will get you nowhere

      3-D - 2011-03-21 10:47

      Now-now Judith, jealousy makes you nasty...

      Gatta - 2011-03-21 12:12

      I agree whole-heartedly with Judith. And it isn't jealousy speaking, it is a fact. These drivers also seem to think the road belongs to them and all other traffic needs to get out of the way when they are on the road. Pity 'arrogance' comes with the car ...

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 10:21

      Where did you publish your research Gatta which shows that the BMW drivers are arrogant? I would like to read your research, it seem interesting

      mikelmal - 2011-03-22 13:47

      Try the new 5-series, it finds parking on its own, it parks itself without any assistance from the driver, it will warn you when you are changing lanes if there is a speeding car coming, let alone wake u up when u are sleepy while driving, it will brake itself if you are approaching a slow moving car in front of you...the list goes on!!!.

  • Thembisile - 2011-03-21 11:46

    what is a carbon footprint of a bmw and all the big cars?

  • Pat - 2011-03-21 12:40

    Come on, be honest now Chris, how much did BMW pay you for this article?

  • onemantribe - 2011-03-21 12:43

    I have always thought that, bad acid aside, that if our eyes are the window to our souls, then a car's headlights are the clue to its inner nature. Look at all BMW models' headlights - they all give the car a sinister, malevolent look. Squinty, duplicitous, gangsta. Unlike the bright and chirpy look of the Kia models and the naive innocence of Toyota models. The calm, "old money" elegance of Landrover, the slightly desperate look of Audis and the flirty, coquette air of the new VW Beetle. They are the spoilt boys and daddy's princesses who were never denied anything as kids, and have grown up to be sociopathic ghouls preying on life in the slow lane. Like I said, bad acid aside, I feel I am onto something here. Or on something. Either way - BMWs creep me out in the rear view mirror.

      Schalk - 2011-03-22 19:53

      you definetely should go into marketing or brand building.

  • Charles N - 2011-03-21 17:43

    BMW = Bring Mecahnic With

      Pieter - 2011-03-21 20:21

      B.M.W.= Broke Maar Windgat

      WeZo - 2011-03-22 14:06

      Be My Wife

      jackey - 2011-03-22 20:32

      Best Man Wins

  • oiltrash - 2011-03-21 22:01

    Guys, I think you are missing the point of the article... I drive a BMW but who cares if it is good or not, and we can debate on and on if BMW has a moral responsability to not sell to governments who spend our money on these luxury cars. The point is that BMW do a good job at product placement which is a marketing tool that is here to stay..

      Cathy - 2011-03-26 01:53

      Who cares about the article, I love BMW but this is darn funny ha ha ENTERTAINMENT - THAT'S WHY PEOPLE FOLLOW THE MEDIA ?? :)

  • afroduckk - 2011-03-21 22:58

    Schabir Shaik = Thief / Crook / Tsotsi / Skelm .... BMW = Expensive / Over Rated / Unwanted ....

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 08:51

      Surely you can't afford it

  • Martin - 2011-03-22 08:48

    Not sure what is more boring, this article or your picture. !

  • Janine - 2011-03-22 09:33

    More fancy features - more things to go wrong - more huge amounts of money to have them repaired.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 10:19

      Sour grapes janine, azikho lomali man

      jackey - 2011-03-22 20:36

      @Janine,Get one with a motorplan with is most probably the best in the business and the motorplan will take care of all repairs...

  • Tin - 2011-03-22 10:25

    HI Chris, We be having Linguini al a Shaik at Spiga d Oro !Thats very popular. Would i buy a BMW again ? Yes !.. it's a very good car...across the range... i have had two after 15 years of mercs. The cameramen have not so subtly sent us a message on THEIR desires and aspirations...which is not a bad thing. As a boy, i used to drool over Mercs (the big 600 pullman) which most despots and other heads of states were whisked in. Never mind BMW technology drove Hitlers war , I have seen a lot of Jews driving it ! Remember how Mercs ML series rocketed after Tony Yengeni? And ( hate starting a sentence with and) now Denel will probably have a post mortem (no pun intended) on how their arms performed in the field in Libya. Psst where can i get my hands on a G5 Howitzer and feel fly like a G6 ?

  • Afro Emperes - 2011-03-22 10:37

    i remember back when he was still attending his first trial, and he would be seen driving off in his beemer from court, the model he was driving then ended up being called bmw-shabir-shaik.

  • LSch - 2011-03-22 10:47

    I read the coments below, what a bunch of twats you are (won't buy it can't afford it) next you guys will saying My Dick is Bigger than your Dick, because my car is bigger and faster, Get a life.

      Cathy - 2011-03-26 01:55

      It's uncalled to attack people.. We are talking (actually joking) about a car. You should call yourself a twat cause I'm not and I drive one.Only an idiot calls people fools.

  • PureBlack - 2011-03-22 11:19

    Actually in Townships, they call 7 Series Schabir Shaik. Even people who don't know who Schabir Shaik is, they call 7 series Schabir Shaik.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 12:24

      And they like it

      Lauren - 2011-03-22 14:42

      Paul, where are you going with these comments of yours? What are you trying to get off your chest?

  • Seperetla - 2011-03-22 11:47

    BMWs have always been great in the popular culture. E28: Gusheshe, Ithemba la magumusha E36: Dolphin, the bank robber E46: G-String, the panty dropper E90: Anaconda, goddess of still waters. E90 is aka Schabir Shaik. I drive the E90 325i and the badboy BMW names make me like it even more. it shows that people are aware of it. many criminals have appeared in courts throughout the planet and what they drive does not make noise unless it's a BMW. My advice to those who don't drive BMWs, if u don't like it, don't buy it. no one is forcing you. And most importantly don't lie about their reliability. Real BMW owners find your comments un-thought out and plain stupid. IF u like Merc, Audi, KIA, Geely, Hyndai, Tata, Lexus, and can afford it buy it and don't moan about BMW owners. PS:I m gonna name the next 3 Series(due in 2012) Gaddafi or even Malema.

      ZACynic - 2011-03-22 12:09

      Isn't the 3-series rather cheap for them? I thought they were more X6, 6 series or 7 series customers....

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 12:25

      Rather name it iGaddafi, lol

  • ZACynic - 2011-03-22 11:55

    Love the generalisations... "All BMW drivers are arrogant, speedsters who think they own the road." "All whites are Neo-Nazi racists" "All blacks are lazy and incompetent" Spot the similarity? It's just plain stupid to generalise. I am a considerate driver, I like to obey the speed limits, and, oh, by the way, I drive a BMW. Mainly, because it's a lovely car to drive. It's solid, and built well, and the designers have thought of a lot of details that makers of other cars haven't. It's solid on the road and well balanced. So I don't fit the stereotype. Most people I know don't fit the stereotype. These crass generalisations are really horrible. If you'd like to drive a BMW, and think you can't afford it, try a used 5 series. They are reasonable, but are truly magnificent machines. Once you've got it, nobody will know you bought it for cheap, even if it cost you less than a new Toyota Corolla.....

      Lauren - 2011-03-22 14:45

      I would like to add a fourth: Mike is a bit of a dirt bag and probably has a big car in his garage to compensate....

  • DeonL - 2011-03-22 12:13

    I switched from BMW to a Merc as the latter tend to keep theire value longer. Shaik is an embarasment to the country, whatever he drives.

      Mike - 2011-03-22 13:43


      jackey - 2011-03-22 20:43

      If you want an investmens,buy property !!!

      slojam - 2011-03-24 12:32

      Problem with your choice it that the Merc's of today dont last as long as the Beemers and where as the Beemers because of their futuristic design, age gracefully. Look at any old Merc... They look horrible and out-dated. Some of them even look out-dated on the showroom floor. Shame!

      slojam - 2011-03-24 12:34

      @jackey ... Can you really say that in the times we live in? You want good investments... Ask Shaik!

  • paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-22 13:16

    But BMW cars are cute, I love the X5

  • Paco7 - 2011-03-22 13:20

    at author,why don't you leave this innocent man alone.He was just helping our president with his bookkeeping and add to that his terminal blood pressure that has gotten him to deaths door,all he wants to do is die in peace and u are now accusing him of selling BMW's and getting a kickback from them as well,shame on u

  • slojam - 2011-03-24 12:27

    Chris, could you not find anything more interesting or relevant to a "Cutting edge" news platform? Did the editorial team just give you this space to make worthless comments on someone that the public is tired of listening about just because they could not fill it with anything more interesting? What benefit is this type of column to anyone anyway? Please disclose to us whats in it for you from BMW... seems like you are punting their products indirectly! Anyway, people in this country are entitled to buy anything legal that they like... The boy has loads of money, leave him in peace to enjoy what he has. Atleast we know he has style. For Sure!!!

      Cathy - 2011-03-26 01:59

      Slo jam, you show us how legally that car was bought then I'll kiss your #ss!! This was very interesting. THUMBS UP CHRIS!! WHOOP WHOOP!!

  • JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-05 15:46

    never mind the bmw's. mercedes owners are rude, arrogant and think the road belongs to them. and no, i dont drive a bmw. i have better taste thank you.

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