Mini promotes fun driving with fun campaign

We're talking fake classified ads. Night projections depicting the dreams of wannabe competitors. There's even a strategy for wiggling out of speeding tickets.

Toronto’s Taxi2 has outdone itself with its cheeky ‘Make Driving More Fun’ campaign for Mini, hitting Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver this week. It includes online and guerrilla marketing, high-impact OOH and off-the-wall print elements, all on behalf of Mini’s owner – Whitby, Ont.-HQ’d BMW Group Canada.

‘Mini is simply more fun to drive than other cars,’ says Mini brand communications manager Marc Belcourt. ‘So we developed this unconventional campaign to hammer home the driving excitement message and to generate strong viral effects with a push to’

One of the amusing OOH components of the campaign is placing flyers resembling the license plates of foreign diplomats on cars in downtown parking lots in the three targeted cities. On the reverse side of the flyers are instructions on not only how to attach the replica to a regular license plate, but what to say if caught speeding (see image above).

Another outdoor element is night projections, which purport to be the envious dreams of ordinary cars. They feature driving footage of a Mini within a thought bubble projected on city walls above average cars in various urban locations.

The print campaign is based on ‘Mini envy,’ and consists of placing fake classified ads in the automotive sections of the Globe and Mail, La Presse, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun and Toronto Star. Sample execution: ‘Apollo’ Rocketship $1,921,200,299 2006! Price includes monkey, dried fruit and Tang. Perfect for. . . those with interest in ‘last year’s technology.’ Adjacent is another ad with a photo of a Mini and the statement: ‘There’s nothing more fun to drive.’

Online, the campaign claims to be the first by an auto company to leverage the popularity of Facebook. Mini ads – actually mock movie trailers showcasing Minis in action – have been integrated into the social networking site. As well, Facebookers who sign up can give an online version of the Mini Cooper as a gift to their friends. Banner ads are also being placed on such websites as Sympatico/MSN, Yahoo, the Weather Network, the Olive network, Viceland, Fresh Daily, Lavalife and similar French-language sites in Quebec.

All online (and other) components drive consumers to, where they can virtually test drive a Mini via a road simulator called Trackster – and even customize the course by choosing features like a ‘loop-de-loop’ or ‘jump ramp.’ When visitors finish designing their courses, they can click ‘Tracksterize’ to produce a 3D video to share with others via email or posting on blogs or social networking sites. Each Trackster option features messaging about an associated Mini product feature – and captures data on prospective customers by requiring a password.

The Media Company, of Toronto, handled all media buys for the campaign, which will run through November.