Taxi 2 bows edgy campaign for ’07 Mini

When you haven't got much steak, you've got to emphasize sizzle. And that's the general launch strategy for a new model whose exterior is nearly identical to that of its predecessor.

Timed to complement today’s debut at the Canadian International Auto Show, a bold new campaign for this year’s Mini – dreamed up by Toronto’s Taxi 2 agency – broke earlier this week. The racy campaign is an attempt to maneuvre around the lack of a new look. While the ’07 Mini’s engine performance and driving dynamics have more oomph, its iconic exterior is a deliberate dead-ringer for the ’06 model. Hence, opps for praising, say, a bold new chassis were nil.

So Taxi dug deep. Working in cahoots with the Toronto-based Media Company, it came up with a range of multi-platform attention-grabbers that will roll out through spring.

Online, look for an innovative 3D website that just might be a first (see for yourself at There will also be home page domination at and Sympatico/MSN, plus a mix of banners and big box ads.

Jeanne Northcote, SVP at The Media Company, tells MiC that the men’s washrooms of health clubs and restaurants in nine cities will have urinal ads with sensors that activate video clips. ‘Stand here if you’re the kind of man that appreciates the subtle changes to the new Mini,’ intones one clip, which precedes a new commercial. ‘Stand here if you’re the kind of man that cannot appreciate the new Mini,’ says the other, which is followed by video of a doctor suggesting a procedure to increase the user’s manhood.

For outdoor, there will be billboards in 14 Canadian cities with such saucy messages as ‘Comme un orgasme en plus rapide (comparing the feeling of driving a Mini to experiencing sexual pleasure), and ‘Cop tease.’ As well, Fiberglas Minis will be mounted on the sides of downtown buildings in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto with headlights beaming into the sky and the intriguing headline ‘Let there be Xenon.’

Other OOH elements are utility pole wraps in Toronto and Vancouver, megacolumns in Montreal, and night projections in Vancouver.

The print components of the Mini campaign include double-page ads in the current issue of Canadian Business and in the March and April issues of Toronto Life, Nuvo, enRoute and Azure, all with business reply cards to request more info on the Mini.

A 30-second, 35mm ad will run in cinemas for four weeks starting Feb. 23. And then, from April through June, there will be a series of brand parties and test drive events at dealerships in Canada’s four major markets.