MINI Previews F56 While Shooting its Next Commercial

The march towards November 18th continues with yet another sneak peek of the 2014 F56 MINI. This time MINI is using the opportunity to confirm one very important aspect of the new car – it will keep the bulldog mascot. In fact sources are telling us that the new commercial will be in the same vein as the original MINI bulldog commercial that helped launch the R53 in North America. Look for its debut to coincide with the release of the new MINI on November 18th.

And if you’re thinking, wow MINI is really showing us a lot of the new F56 before its launch. That may be due to this.

Official Release: The production of the new MINI starts at Plant Oxford, England, in just a few weeks time and will be unveiled at the brand’s home on 18 November 2013. The launch campaign kicks off at the same time, once again centred around elaborately produced TV commercials. Tongue-in-cheek stories showcase the unique driving fun offered by the brand as well as the powerful emotional bond established between drivers and their MINI. A familiar co-star will appear alongside the brand new MINI: the English bulldog, Spike.

With the market launch campaign for the new MINI, the British small car manufacturer continues the tradition of unconventional and humorous appearances across a range of communication channels. The new TV commercial was developed by creative agency BSSP in San Fransisco and implemented by MINI brand communications and the Hamburg-based film production company Sterntag. It conveys individuality a passion for driving fun, innovative technology and a sense of quirkiness which only MINI can offer.

On his first trip in the new MINI, bulldog Spike gets to know and appreciate all the main strengths of the newest member of the British small car family. And since the little guys always have to stick together, whatever the species, Spike is also called upon to defend MINI against the advances of an enormous Great Dane. In spite of being sceptical initially, he becomes fond of his master’s new MINI by the end of the first test drive and proceeds to show it the way only he knows how.


Shot with various endings and broadcast in different lengths, the commercial was filmed at a Hollywood studio and in the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Every single shot was meticulously rehearsed over a period of four days with the huge logistical effort typical of Hollywood productions. With over 120 crew members, MINI also enlisted the help of a special team of dog experts. In addition to wranglers and supervisors, there was a vet and even a make-up artist to ensure the four-legged hero was always in good shape and perfectly presented.

MINI and the English Bulldog are old friends: an English bulldog appeared in the recent MINI brand campaign featuring the claim “NOT NORMAL”. What is more, the MINI Collection would not be complete without the bulldog: the cuddly version of the animal is one of the most popular MINI lifestyle products. As well as being featured on cushions, there are USB sticks, key rings and smartphone covers featuring the iconic bulldog.

The official unveiling of the new MINI takes place on 18 November 2013 – the 107th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, who started a revolution in automobile manufacturing with the first ever model over 50 years ago. The world premiere will be held simultaneously in the British capital of London and at the MINI Plant in Oxford, where the new model is produced. The new MINI then sees its motor show premiere in the same week, with virtually simultaneous presentations in Los Angeles, California, and Tokyo, Japan. In addition it will also be officially presented in Shanghai, PR China. The new MINI will be launched worldwide in the first quarter of 2014.





  • Chris Bamford

    They’re desperate to keep that nose under wraps aren’t they…

    • Obviously. They haven’t officially unveiled the car yet. That’s not shame, it’s just marketing. Just because we’ve seen it from a few angles here on MotoringFile doesn’t mean MINI is going to just scrap their new product launch plans and drive the car around unmasked.

      • b-

        Right, they should scrap the design and start over.

        • Right. I’m sure they’ll get right on that now that you’ve suggested it. 😉

        • pmindemann

          Actually, they should… it would be less harmful to the brand, in the long-run.

          Look what happened to the last Honda Civic that was so bad, even Consumer Reports (who love Hondas) couldn’t get behind it… Honda had to do a hasty redesign right after it was rolled out, and are still trying to regain ground. Why not avoid all that and get this redesign right the first-time while sales of the current-gen car are at an all-time high?

      • Chris Bamford

        I was just being facetious. Actually now you mention it, those ‘spy’ shots we saw last week had just about every angle except a side on view of the nose, thus hiding the protrusion. Dare I say they too might have been a cynical attempt by BMW at giving us a ‘fuller’ picture?

        • This release has been planned for quite some time.

        • Chris Bamford

          Yes, I’m talking about the absence of a side-on view in the spy shots… There was one, but the nose was cutely obscured by a couple of heads. Seems odd to me why that one just didn’t make it in the camera – seeing as it’s the detail everyone is talking about.

        • lawrothegreat

          There’s one on bimmertoday.

        • Fact

          Gabe failed reading comprehension.

        • You are failing to make a point.

        • You’re failing to make a point anyone understands.

  • rlb

    It’s the same chrome trimmed car as in the “undisguised” article. Zoom in on the long range shot and you can see the chrome trim.

  • Interesting that this new yellow seems to be the de facto launch color for the F56. It’s all we ever see it in so far.

    • rlb

      It seems yellow is the only real new color, so I guess it makes sense they want to showcase it with the new car. The iced chocolate (or whatever) and the not-chili-red red, aren’t new enough to scream NEW! like the yellow.

      • ArkansasDeb

        I can’t believe they’ve discontinued Chili Red! I DON’T want a metallic red. I may elect to buy a 2013, instead. My ’07 is getting a little long in the tooth, now at 95,000 miles, and I’d planned to buy a new car in 2014.

        Oh, it’ll be a MINI, but I can’t see buying an F56 based on pictures I’ve seen so far. And that’s a switch for me, because I ordered my R56 in December, 2006, before the dealers even had a picture of the interior.

        • rlb

          I’ve been driving an ’03 Highlander and dreaming about a 2014 chili red MINI for the last 3 years (when done moving kids’ stuff to and from college). I thought chili red would be around forever. I just couldn’t believe they dropped it. Metallic red just isn’t the same.

        • ArkansasDeb

          Absolutely agree! It’s a perfect red–not too orange, not too blue. And while I like metallic red and burgundy on other types of cars, it’s not the same on a MINI.

        • I have a custom BMW motorcycle project in my long-term backlog and it’s already earmarked to get MINI Chili Red when it gets painted. It’s a great color.

        • ArkansasDeb

          Cool! Happy riding!

    • That’s not yellow. That’s Volcanic Orange.

      • Call it orange all they like, it looks pretty darn yellow to me.

        • Funny I thought it was yellow as well. But now you mention it is orange I can see it.

        • Someone on Twitter referred to it as “mac & cheese yellow” which is pretty funny.

  • JimBucksbury

    I wish we’d get a peek at the base Cooper, the S model is obviously goofy-looking but I’m hoping the base model has a cleaner front end.

    • If you look back historically you’ll see the Cooper has always gone with a more classic look. And MINI likes tradition so… 🙂

    • Nick Dawson

      If you go to Google Images and type in ‘mini mk 3’ press search and scroll down through mostly classic Mini MK 3s, you’ll come to a black F56 Cooper with only light camouflage, which clearly shows three horizontal chrome grille bars above the centre bumper, and a far less fussy front apron. There is also a classic MK3 in Bronze Yellow, a very similar colour to Volcanic Orange, which was one of the new colours on the MK3 launched in November 1969. BMW is so into heritage!

    • Nick Dawson has five photos of the all black F56 Cooper showing front, side and rear views.

  • Chuck Jr.

    What? No goldfish in the commercial? I thought that was the new mascot.

    • pmindemann

      That was my first thought, exactly… why use a bulldog, when a goldfish is obviously a closer match?

      Maybe they thought having two goldfish in one ad would be too much. 😉

  • Rob

    I’m sorry but the association with the British bulldog died years ago with the R53. From thereon it was the frog, and now it appears to be the goldfish.

  • John

    Those mirrors are HUGE. The F56 has some weird proportions in every angle you look at.

    • ulrichd

      Now that you mention it, they are. I think that’s a safety code thing. Some designers are doing two tone mirrors (black/body color) to disguise it a bit.

    • Hemisedan

      You’re really nitpicking here. Those, as you say over sized mirrors look the same size as those on my r59. Maybe mine are over sized!

      Also, when the first r50-53’s first came out you should remember all the flack it got. Most fair that the Suzuki was more Mini like. That was back in 2002. This f56 has it’s problems: lower intercooler grille as well as the tai lights need help. But with the mechanical improvements, better seats and electronics, I’ll wait for the JCW.

      • ulrichd

        I don’t remember that at all. The design was almost universally praised. I was on a six month waiting list and had a hard time finding a dealer who wouldn’t charge over MSRP. The R50/53 was a hit right out of the box.

        I have no doubt that the F56 drivetrain and handling will be top notch, but the design seems to get a thumbs down from the majority here.

  • ulrichd

    So I guess this turned out to be almost painfully accurate:

    • JeffH

      O. M. G. you are correct sir!! The part that we hate the most, that lower protrusion, was spot on. So sad.

      • This is a sloppy render based on the photos taken earlier this summer. Yes it’s in the ballpark but it’s hard not to be in the ballpark after seeing unclad spy photos.

        Gabriel Bridger | | | |

  • ulrichd

    Came across this R56/F56 profile comparison. Interesting.

    • Having seen the two next to each other and know what I know… This isn’t entirely accurate.

    • Mr Remi

      That profile comparison is frightening. I hope it aint’ true.

  • Stew

    Hope the new engine has a easy to read Dip stick unlike my 57 plate Cooper!!!!!!

  • Roger Seeley

    They can bring all the bulldogs in the world to this…sorry but its lost that bulldog look…maybe they should have replaced Spike with Nemo instead….and grafted a baboon ass to him….