Cannes Lions

MINI Polar Bear

PEREIRA O'DELL, San Francisco / MINI / 2023

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

MINI wanted to sell an electric vehicle in a category utterly dominated by a single brand—Tesla. In the lead up to our campaign Tesla sold 80% of EVs in the US. On top of that, the MINI Electric’s range, a major selling point in the category, left much to be desired. With this in mind, we set out to accentuate the attributes that we knew MINI could win on: the fun of the driving experience and the brand’s cheeky personality.

Our objectives were to drive pre-orders and engage MINI’s community of enthusiasts.

Idea

To launch the all-new MINI Electric, we put an eco-friendly twist on the scene of a dog with its head out the car window, swapping the dog for a polar bear. The response to the video was INSANE. Across social media, the comments section blew up with suggestions like “I NEED THIS BEAR IN MY CAR.” We released a limited edition polar bear bobblehead. Then came a slew of requests to name the bear. We asked people to vote—meet Nanuq (Inuit for polar bear). Then came the ultimate suggestion: “This should be a paint color.” And in true MINI fashion, we obliged. You can now pre-order the new MINI Electric in “Nanuq White,” the first MINI color created from a social post comment.

Strategy

This campaign began aimed at those who share MINI’s fun-loving mindset and evolved to engage MINI’s most faithful fans. After the campaign’s reception on MINI’s social channels, we leaned into the love and set our community management team into overdrive, fielding questions and requests as they rolled in. We worked closely with our MINI client team to sound out the feasibility of both delivering against the community’s asks (e.g., the bobblehead bear, the paint color) AND inviting them in on proposals of our own (e.g., naming the bear). We also seeded the campaign to auto trade publications as well as MINI community blogs, where MINI fans gather to talk all about their favorite brand.

Execution

Our integrated Electric campaign launched in paid media across social, digital, CTV, and OOH in June 2022, introducing the polar bear as the newest mascot for the new MINI Electric. The positive response to our furry friend was overwhelming, and we continued engagement via organic social throughout the campaign. The community took the lead in asking to name the bear, and Nanuq was the winner (Inuit for polar bear). When our community asked to have their own bear on social, we created the limited edition polar bear bobbleheads. Anyone that pre-ordered a MINI Electric or donated to Polar Bears International would receive their very own Nanuq bobblehead. Then came the suggestion to make a polar bear paint color. On Polar Bear Week in November 2022, MINI announced the MINI Electric would now be available in a new model color named “Nanuq White,” all thanks to our MINI audience.

Outcome

77% of MINI Electric pre-orders were attributed to our polar bear campaign, and there was 2X the order volume as the next best-selling MINI model. After two months of the campaign being live, MINI was sold out of its MINI Electric inventory. To top it all off, we rallied our MINI community to donate tens of thousands of dollars to our partners at Polar Bears International as part of our social engagement efforts.

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