Today’s San Francisco Chronicle features a story on the recent three way competition to fill the gap left when the Crispin Porter + Bogusky ad agency left MINIUSA to take on the much larger Volkswagen of America account. The competition lead to the selection of Butler, Shine, Stern, & Partners by MINIUSA to help shape the future branding of MINI.

What follows are some brief excerpts from the article that give some hints as to the general direction that Butler, Shine may take with MINI’s advertising and branding in the U.S..

“It is basically about the evangelical community of owners (of Minis) and creating technological platforms that recognize those owners and allows them to do what they do — which is be evangelical about the brand,” Stern said. He said the agency’s pitch to the company was titled “Evolving the Mini brand without screwing it up.”

Butler, Shine’s proposal “showed a great sense of community, and the Mini is a very community-oriented brand,” she said (Trudy Hardy, the Mini USA marketing manager).

In August 2004, the agency produced advertising using consumer-generated content for Converse shoes.

People were invited to make their own 24-second home videos about anything, inspired by the Converse brand, some of which were incorporated into commercials. These tiny films, with six-second tag lines and images of Converse shoes at the end, can still be seen at

“We were particularly impressed by the work that (Butler, Shine) had done for Converse,” said Mini USA’s Hardy. “Asking customers to submit their own films for potential use in advertising really invited them into the brand. Our customers share that same sense of brand ownership.”