Cannes Lions

Do-It-Yourself MINI

PEREIRA O'DELL, San Francisco / MINI / 2023

Case Film
Supporting Content
Supporting Content

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Lots of people were flush with cash to buy new MINIs during the supply chain crisis, but MINI simply didn’t have enough cars to go around. That meant lots of people waiting for cars. Eventually, the supply chain worked itself out, and inventory returned to levels approaching normal.

With awareness as our goal, our brief was to ideate a fun, press-worthy way to announce the news that, after an agonizing wait, MINIs were back.

The work is relevant to this category because it sought to capitalize on TikTok’s growing popularity and the tropes and features native to the platform that characterize its successful content.

Idea

The global supply chain crisis caused people to build do-it-yourself versions of literally everything. From furniture to an actual submarine, DIY content exploded across TikTok. But as the crisis ended, MINI realized they needed a way to announce their cars were back in stock. So we took the DIY trend insight and turned it into a ridiculous epidemic. The Do-It-Yourself MINI. We took to DIYers’ favorite platform, TikTok, and posted seemingly real DIY MINI Cooper tutorial TikToks made by MINI fans who couldn’t wait any longer for their MINI. Then we launched a fake task force, the Don’t Do-It-Yourself Department, to alert the public and call out MINI DIYers on their favorite platform. And just when we had everyone convinced people were desperately trying to DIY the MINI, we made a big announcement: “Stop DIYing our cars. The MINIs are back. Go get a real one, right now.”

Strategy

MINI inspires devotion. Thousands of enthusiasts gather biannually and spend their own vacation time and money to rally cross-country. Nearly a third of those who’ve purchased a MINI in the last three years own more than one. They call themselves “MINIacs,” and nothing stands between a MINIac and his or her MINI.

Well, maybe the supply chain crisis. During lockdown, many of us turned to DIY projects—both out of necessity because we couldn’t buy the things we wanted and because we simply had a lot of time. MINIacs wouldn’t take to DIYing MINIs, would they?

This insight naturally lends itself to comedy, particularly the type of absurd comedy that thrives on TikTok. So with this campaign, we set out to launch MINI USA’s presence on the platform and build a following oriented around absurd humor and short-form content created using native TikTok features like dueting and text to speech.

Execution

The core of the campaign was to make people believe the DIY MINI was a national epidemic. We needed to create a huge, imaginary Do-It-Yourself MINI trend. The challenge was budget. In order for this idea to work, we needed volume: tons of DIY MINIs popping up all over social media. To create a real-life DIY MINI out of duct tape alone cost our production tens of thousands of USD. So we created four actual DIY MINIs to scale and leveraged AI, using the latest versions of Midjourney and DALL·E, to create 40 more. The key was to craft them so that the AI MINIs were indistinguishable from the real ones. We physically printed the AI creations and used Polaroid and copier machine effects to add noise and degrade the quality to add to the realism. We used the individual AI DIY MINI images on social to spread the news and grab MINI fans’ attention. We then interweaved them with the real Do-It-Yourself MINI versions. We mimicked the TikTok fast-cut, low-quality style to produce realistic social posts. Physical prints of the AI DIY MINIs were used as a backdrop on the set of the documentary style video that told the entire story from start to finish. In the end, the question we got most from people viewing the campaign was, “Wait, is this real?”

Outcome

One of MINI’s most successful social initiatives in the brand’s history, the Do-It-Yourself MINI campaign officially launched the MINI USA TikTok channel, establishing it as MINI’s newest and strongest social platform. It received over 9 million views and over 80,000 shares, comments, and likes in less than one week. Just seven days after launch, MINI's TikTok channel continues growing in followers 54% day over day, and MINI sales have increased 38.2% since the supply chain crisis.

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