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Mission Mini.
September 13, 2002 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Mission Mini. Thieves have stolen 6 valuable paintings, and a Mini Cooper S. Read the mysterious novella by Scottish author, Val McDermid, and then fly to Barcelona to take part in this mystery. Mini has arranged plane tickets and hotel for you. Are you up for some sleuthing? Get briefed.
This could be one of the coolest interactive marketing campaigns I've seen in a long while. [some links contain flash]
posted by mad (14 comments total)

 
i didnt do it.... but i like the idea. will check out one of Vals books. she seems like a fine writer. (and i need a good mystery)
posted by clavdivs at 8:40 AM on September 13, 2002


The MINI marketing people know how to create a brand, not to mention Flash sites. Everything I've seen about the car, both in print and on the Web, is totally slick. Who's their ad agency?
posted by dayvin at 8:41 AM on September 13, 2002


What I like about the site is that it's got a downloadable PDA app based on the old CRAP Generator gag.

Kudos to the minds behind this project for taking a fun diversion and incorporating it into the storyling as an "investigative element".
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:55 AM on September 13, 2002


Or, to put it succinctly: 4,3,9,6,3.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:58 AM on September 13, 2002


According to AdForum, the MINI ads and promotion are handled by BBDO Interone, Munich (German, Flash). They won a couple awards this year for the MINI campaign, including the Bronze Lion for Brand Management in Cybermarketing.

BBDO America clients include Pepsi, Cingular, and Chrysler.

Also, "MINI" refers to the new retro car, while "Mini" refers to the original.
posted by jewishbuddha at 9:12 AM on September 13, 2002


The MINI people may know how to create a brand, but they sure as hell can't sell a product. In this age of SUVs is anyone actually BUYING these go-karts?
posted by mogwai at 9:19 AM on September 13, 2002


The most amusing part of mission MINI is the application looks really simple, but then there's an extra credit section only noticed after you answer the simple questions on the form. Optional as all extra credit should be. it gets into complicated things like video of why you'd make the best investigator, showing how you enter your car through the driver's window, being disguised, showing the supplies you'd have in your Cooper S and finally drawings for customized roof designs. (nothing like submitting free suggestions for them).

Their entire ad campaign is amazingly cool, as is the car, as I'm a proud owner.
posted by stryder at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2002


The MINI people may know how to create a brand, but they sure as hell can't sell a product. In this age of SUVs is anyone actually BUYING these go-karts?


I've seen dozens of them on the streets around here -- people are finding the joys of actually being able to park.
That's why -- i'm guessing, minis and other tiny cars have been popular in europe for quite some time.

alas: i used to greatly want an mini-cooper -- but now that they're everywhere; well, they've lost a bit of their charm for me: it's the new "new" volkswagen bug.

On the upside, the new minis (as made by bmw) have something like *five* airbags, which is nice, considering the old mini would probably fold up quite neatly if it got in an accident.
posted by fishfucker at 9:30 AM on September 13, 2002


I noticed the post above mine as I was writing. Yes, people in the US are actually buying them according to BMW Group 12,800 so far since they went on sale in March. BMW estimated to sell 20-25,000 a year in the US they're quite on track to do that, and as there are no dealers in Texas yet, they could easily beat that once those open. Its a drop in the bucket compared to mainstream cars, but they only sold 145,400 BMW's last year, so this is a significant increase. I agree that hopefully they'll keep production reasonable, but the car is so much fun and such a good car, it really does rise beyond the "in" car of the year once you drive it.

They actually have six airbags, standard driver/passenger side airbags in the seat and then head airbags that are for both front and rear passengers. People have already rolled them and been assaulted by truck tires and survived fine.
posted by stryder at 9:33 AM on September 13, 2002


According to AdForum, the MINI ads and promotion are handled by BBDO Interone, Munich

Outside of the US this is correct, the American agency is Crispin, Porter and Bogusky. On the interactive side, they partner with Circle, who built MINIusa.com and the Mission MINI site.
posted by jalexei at 9:38 AM on September 13, 2002


...the American agency is Crispin, Porter and Bogusky.

Oops - correct link here.
posted by jalexei at 9:46 AM on September 13, 2002


Viral marketing! Viral marketing!
posted by interrobang at 9:51 AM on September 13, 2002


Interrobang--exactly. I've actually read that "Mission MINI" story, and it was one of the most embarrasingly badly written mystery stories I've ever-read, full of awkward references to how amazing the Mini is and how wonderfully cool and relaxed its owners are. Val McDermid should be ashamed of herself.
posted by saltykmurks at 11:20 AM on September 13, 2002


The MINI people may know how to create a brand, but they sure as hell can't sell a product. In this age of SUVs is anyone actually BUYING these go-karts?

You bet. The reviews of the Mini Cooper have been universally glowing, particularly because they represent all that is not SUVish. Car Talk has done a great job of promoting the Mini, though that's not too surprising, given their anti-SUV crusade.

Oh, and I've checked with dealers within a six-hour drive around me; there's currently a 13-month waiting list to get a Mini of any size, shape or color. Apparently, a lot of people are buying them.
posted by waldo at 11:37 AM on September 13, 2002


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