Adage Covers MINI’s new Ad Campaign

The fine folks over at BSSP are off to a flying start. Not only are they canvassing the country spreading the good word, but they’re getting MINI great press for the latest campaign. Here’s an excerpt from This week’s Adage:

Given that owners are often the best leads to new sales, Trudy Hardy, marketing manager of the BMW division, said the strategy is to wrap all its marketing around the Mini community. Owners, she said, perpetuate the next sale. “We want to reward them for their passion for the brand and we are trying to treat them special.”

Wes Brown, an auto analyst at consultant Iceology, said BMW understands that its owner base is unusual in the auto industry, as the Mini Cooper has developed a cult-like following. Making owners feel special and appreciated is an effective strategy, he said.

You can read the entire article below.

[ The Ads Only MINI Owners Can Read ]

Now get out there and sell some MINIs people!

  • Vanwall

    There’s an interesting short video interview of Ms. Hardy about the ad agency selection process at the Business Week website:


    Rob in Dago

  • Aurel

    I am in agreement with what MINI is trying to achieve, but I am not liking the “way” this new agency is trying to achieve it. The “middle finger to owners other than MINI” approach is not a very MINI thing.


    I’ve owned 3 of the F’rs and still no Black Box!!! P’s’ng me off!

    Even sent them and MINI.USA a tersly, joke, kinda, worded email!


    Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale never thru this many scoreless innings!

  • RudyT

    Don’t feel bad… I bought my MINI in Germany, US Spec, and they don’t even consider me affiliated with MINIUSA or the North American division so therefor no blackbox or other bonus’s MINIUSA owners get.

  • Jerseygirl

    So I’m not alone! My MINI turns 3 this month and not a black box in sight. Not really surprising though, since I’ve never gotten any of the other stuff they’ve mailed out in the past either… : (

  • dickdavid

    The one thing that I’ve noticed about MINI’s marketing lately (this and Motoring IDs) is that MINI is trying desperately to get MINI owners to go BACK to the Owners Lounge. Although I love getting stuff from MINI, I’ve got a few issue with this ‘black box’ campaign.

    The first issue is with the purpose of the Owners Lounge. My guess is the OL is there to develop and nurture an online community of MINI owners who want to share their motoring experiences. For me, IT FAILED. The site is awful from in every way from design to function. The navigation is clunky and inconsistent with content that is outdated and useless. The site itself feels like several different sites that are patched together.

    For me, sites like my local forum, NAM and Cooperspeed as well as Motoringfile and WRR do a much better job.

    If you’re going to spend this much time and effort to drive folks to the OL, overhaul it first. Give folks a reason to stick around once you get them there.

    The second issue I have, which you’ve answered here, is the lack of financial goal with the ‘black box’ campaign. Most marketing tactics are done to increase overall revenue. I was wondering what the goal was in marketing to existing customers other than to create awareness to potential buyers.

    The last issue I have with the ‘black box’ is I dislike multi-layered interactive promotions. IMO, I don’t want to find ‘this part’ and ‘that part’ and then go ‘there’ to go ‘somewhere else’ to find out any answers or get any prizes. None of this “pop the top, go to this page, and type in the special code to see if you are a winner” or “collect this and win” promotions for me. I want instant gratification. 😛

  • Aurel

    I totally agree with dickdavid re: the OL website … It was a mess from the start, but it seems to have a lot of members.

  • db

    I do my fair share of selling, but often I have a very hard time referring people back to my dealer. I know they will have a fantastic sales experience, but service can be hit or miss sometimes. And there is the whole selling-over-MSRP thing too. Sure, other dealers sell at MSRP in my area, but they are really out of the way for most of the people I talk to. That’s a tough combo to deal with sometimes.

    And don’t even get me started on the owners lounge.

  • Mark

    Not sure if the campaign is actually to promote current MINI owners to be selling the MINI brand to others, or the campaign is to keep current MINI owners in the fold, and interested in buying the new model.

  • 05DSMCS

    I like it. It’s leverage for MINI to use it’s current “member” base to advertise. I don’t mind waiting for answers, going to other locations, entering codes, etc. for MINI related items, I find it fun. I also didn’t find out the gender of all 4 of my kids, so maybe I just appreciate delayed satisfaction.

  • Ken

    Has anyone seen the “Big vehicles we feel your pain” billboard? I think it has a misleading point. Why would we (MINI Owners) feel the pain of SUV owners? We don’t gas up every other day! I’d have to say the ads are nothing special.

  • ®iddler

    I agree, the ads habe been weaker ever since CP&B dropped the ball on MINIUSA. A uni-lateral approach using the ueber-economic nature of the MINI does not seem a very successful approach, since, as we all know and agree, the MINI is by far not a great example of fuel economy and efficiency. What ever happened to the pure joy of MINI ownership? The current approach almost seems desparate to win over all drivers that are considering fropping their guzzler for a more economic car, but haven’t considered the MINI in the past for its personality, etc..

    As for the Black Box campaign: The moment I got mine, I threw the whole production away. What a waste of advertising dollars. Am I really supposed to buy trash magazines like Blenser, Stuff, Maxim to be able to decipher a MINI ad????? Give me a break! Almost seems as if MINIUSA is entering some agreement with said magazines to trade discounted ad rates for increased readership. //– rant over.

  • pete

    i got mine last week! hehe yeah

  • Ellen

    Does this remind anyone of the movie A Christmas Story? Ralphie uses his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring to decipher the message “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.” A crummy commercial!

  • Greg W

    How about the military servicemen who can buy cars while overseas on tour of duty (see the website for details of discounts scheme). Do they get on a mailing list?

  • Greg W

    Oops – here is the web page for Military sales;

  • Neil

    I believe the boxes were only sent to people who purchased from a dealer in the US.

  • RudyT

    Like I just said ealier… I am in the service overseas in Germany where I purchased my MINI and we are NOT on the mailing list. We are not even allowed to use the website (only as potential customers). That includes no motoring ID, owners lounge, or anything else associated with the North American Division or MINI.