Cannes Lions

Not-So-MINI Puzzle

PEREIRA O'DELL, San Francisco / MINI / 2023

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In 2021, there simply weren’t enough cars to go around, so MINI pre-order customers found themselves on epically long waitlists. Lots of brands in lots of categories found themselves similarly unable to satisfy demand for their products. And most of them went the reactive route, attempting to triage complaints about delays as they came in through customer service channels.

Our brief was to get proactive and make the wait a little more palatable. “Supply chain” had become the phrase of the moment, and we were all aware of the troubles brands were having getting us the products we wanted. In classic MINI fashion, we sought to acknowledge the problem head-on and offer our customers a fun, next-best-thing while they waited.

Our objective was to maintain customer satisfaction and earn MINI some positive press.


Due to the global supply chain crisis, nearly 4,000 MINI buyers couldn’t get their cars. So we gave them something big—a giant life-size puzzle of a MINI that would take months to complete. We delivered the Not-So-MINI Puzzles to every MINI buyer on the monthslong waitlist. Brand appreciation rolled in—people unboxing the puzzle, trying to complete it, or just saying thanks. And the Not-So-MINI Puzzle became an instant collectible among MINI fans. It garnered over 100M impressions, but best of all, by the end of 2022, all the real MINIs were delivered to everyone on the waitlist.


Our audience was very targeted for this campaign—the nearly 4,000 MINI customers on the pre-order waitlist. MINIs were in short supply on dealer lots, so these customers were the diehards who simply couldn’t wait for supply to return to dealerships and opted to pre-order a custom MINI.

Except they had to wait anyway. Nobody likes to wait for anything. And yet, in 2021 we all found ourselves waiting for lots of things—PS5s, couches, lumber. You name it and, during the supply chain crisis, someone was waiting for it.

As a brand synonymous with fun (“fun-to-drive” is consistently MINI’s #1 purchase differentiator), MINI couldn’t simply sit by as this happened, so we set out to offer our pre-order customers a dose of MINI fun while they waited.


When supply chain delays caused wait times up to six months, we wanted to do something for our eager customers to keep them engaged. We created the ultimate pastime—a life-size, 5,000-piece MINI puzzle that takes as long to complete as the time it takes your real car to arrive. Starting in June 2022, we created 4,000 custom puzzles, one for everyone on the waitlist. Once our MINIacs had puzzles in hand, we used MINI USA social channels to shout out puzzlers as we received UGC progress content. We received an outpouring of comments and engagement from the community, so we decided to do puzzle giveaways for current MINIacs to join in on the fun. While we knew a puzzle would never be as good as the real thing, the puzzle craze kept our community engaged and excited to be part of the brand while they waited for their new


No budget was spent on marketing the Not So MINI Puzzle, as we relied on the community’s word-of-mouth and excitement on social to show their puzzle progress to promote the initiative. The Not So MINI Puzzle campaign received more than double engagement rate, triple higher video completion, and 96% more impressions compared to the standard benchmark. The Not So MINI Puzzle earned 56 mentions in the news and garnered 100M media impressions.

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