Cannes Lions

MINI COOPER

CRISPIN PORTER + BOGUSKY, Miami / MINI / 2002

Awards:

2 Gold Cannes Lions
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Overview

Description

Kerri Martin/MINI/Guardian of Brand SoulAlex Bogusky/CP+B/Creative DirectorAndrew Keller/CP+B/Vice President/Associate Creative DirectorLaura Bowles/CP+B/Vice President/Management Supervisor Our challenge was to begin to define the MINI brand in ways that could help it become an icon in the US that way it has been for so long in the UK. Our strategy for doing so was to communicate our core proposition, “true exhilaration at an attainable price” by showcasing our defining signature shape; creating multiple opportunities for people to come in contact with the new MINI; to subtly anthropomorphize MINI; to treat MINI enthusiasts not as a target but as ambassadors of the brand, and finally, to market MINI to a personality trait, or a mindset.

All advertising needed to be consistent with the above strategies. Our goals for print were to utilize titles we believed to be consistent with MINI as distribution vehicles for our creative content. Standard reach and frequency goals were thrown out the window, as we believed that the pieces would have a “viral” effect among consumers that could not be measured by traditional reach and frequency calculations. Our out of home goals were more defined, with the secondary markets at an 85% reach (rotary bulletins) and the 5 buzz markets (rotary bulletins, spectaculars, street furniture, other forms) at a 95% for the year.

Together, the plan will deliver an 87-97% reach and a 35-105x frequency in all 45 MINI markets during 2002. The cornerstone of our plan is OOH media. We selected this medium due to its ability to showcase our signature shape, provide multiple consumer contact points, and the opportunity to deliver ‘out of the norm’ executions. Additionally, it’s a shared media experience (creates a buzz) and the low overall CPMs prove ideal for our limited budget campaign.The base of the OOH plan was rotary bulletins in all 45 MINI markets. Several factors were used in selecting locations for the year, including average DECs, length of read and proximity to the road, and dealer locations.

Several unique spectacular ideas were discussed and eventually executed for MINI. Examples include “Flames” where a MINI is riding with in-motion flames coming from its exhaust. Within the warm weather markets of Los Angeles and Miami, “Palm Tree” shows the speed of the MINI on a billboard is such that nearby palm trees have been swayed by the MINIs force. “Callouts”, a concept executed in Times Square in New York, whereby a huge space is purchased and the MINI billboard appears to be the center of three ads. All around the MINI are arrows that lead to call outs that detail the features of the MINI. With the call outs extending into other ads, the idea is that that there are so many features on a MINI they don’t fit on the one billboard. As a complement to the specific market OOH campaign, we developed a national print campaign. We utilized specific titles from within the automotive, men’s, music, and fashion categories that aligned with the projected MINI buyer’s interests. The resulting plan reflected content distribution of some 26 million inserts in a total of 20 titles. Creatively, the pieces brand MINI in a different way. They speak to the attitudes of the MINI mindset and playfully mock the idea of “traditional” advertising. They vary from a “Book of Motoring”, which extols the virtues and attitudes of a MINI “motorer”, to an unscented air freshener to be placed in a car, to a “colorform” type detail sticker, which allows the reader to customize and re-customize his or her own MINI. Several magazines created units that tied in both the publication and MINI equity. The Playboy magazine unit was a 6-page “centerfold” of a MINI, complete with all the elements of the Playboy centerfold, including the fold-out photo, data sheet, and jokes page. The insert marks the first time a non-human was featured in a Playboy gatefold and speaks to giving the MINI human characteristics associated with automotive icons.

We believe this campaign to be groundbreaking as traditional measures of effectiveness were ignored and the idea of distributing content in the most effective way possible was executed. Huge demand generated for the car as evidenced by the waiting lists at dealers throughout the U.S. ensures that demand will exceed supply for some time. And MINI is taking it’s first step to iconic status in the US. Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s unique approach makes it difficult of specify media’s contributions to this effort. Since our process begins with branding ideas, not media formats, our creative and media groups work closely to determine the best formats and distribution channels for those ideas. The result is the innovation needed to stand out uncluttered marketing environments.Media developed the strategy behind using OOH. Without television, we recognized the need for efficient market coverage and recommended the use of rotary bulletins as a base, enabling us to support every MINI dealer on a limited budget. Other executions evolved collaboratively. Media initiated agency meetings with the outdoor vendors to share our vision for the brand and our creative ideas. We challenged them to find locations and formats in which to execute these, and to make other suggestions as well. The results have been outstanding.On the print side, media invited a list of considered titles to a “magazine day” at the MINI offices in New Jersey. Publishers were confidentially introduced to the brand and encouraged to submit ideas that could tie-in their publication brand equity with that of MINI. We asked the question “how can you help us best distribute this content?” Ideas were in no way restricted to our inserts and could focus on a specific publication created unit and/or tie-ins with publication sponsored events. Among others, the Playboy “Centerfold” idea evolved from this meeting. We believe this is a great idea because it is a complete departure from introductory automotive advertising, and it contains a number of truly innovative uses of media.

We made liberal use of efficient outdoor formats like bulletins, transit shelters, wild postings and the like to provide constant exposure while we built in a variety of higher cost executions that would pay for themselves in additional word of mouth. Among these are:“MINI @ the Game” - Unlike the typical car display behind velvet ropes or in the concourse area of the stadium, the MINI was actually positioned in the seats like a regular fan at games (Monday Night Football Saints game, Oakland A’s vs, Mariners, for example)“MINI Ride” features a life-sized version of a MINI mounted to look like a coin-operated “ride” for children placed in several high traffic areas in key “buzz” markets. Signage on the ride coyly suggests operators deposit $16,850 in quarters for a ride.The campaign also utilizes 6 different content pieces bound into magazines without any traditional pages of advertising, a concept that to our knowledge had never been executed. We even created new ROP units that had never before run in consumer magazines.

Execution

Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s unique approach makes it difficult of specify media’s contributions to this effort. Since our process begins with branding ideas, not media formats, our creative and media groups work closely to determine the best formats and distribution channels for those ideas. The result is the innovation needed to stand out uncluttered marketing environments.Media developed the strategy behind using OOH. Without television, we recognized the need for efficient market coverage and recommended the use of rotary bulletins as a base, enabling us to support every MINI dealer on a limited budget. Other executions evolved collaboratively. Media initiated agency meetings with the outdoor vendors to share our vision for the brand and our creative ideas. We challenged them to find locations and formats in which to execute these, and to make other suggestions as well. The results have been outstanding.On the print side, media invited a list of considered titles to a “magazine day” at the MINI offices in New Jersey. Publishers were confidentially introduced to the brand and encouraged to submit ideas that could tie-in their publication brand equity with that of MINI. We asked the question “how can you help us best distribute this content?” Ideas were in no way restricted to our inserts and could focus on a specific publication created unit and/or tie-ins with publication sponsored events. Among others, the Playboy “Centerfold” idea evolved from this meeting.

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