Back in December, we wrote a [review]( http://www.motoringfile.com/2014/12/22/opinion-a-tricky-year-for-the-f56-and-mini-usa/) of MINI’s activity in the U.S. for 2014. One of the sections of this post, “Don Draper and a VP of Devil’s Advocacy,” reflected on MINI USA’s marketing efforts for the past year. The key takeaway on this topic was that MINI USA needed to name a [VP of Devil’s Advocacy](http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/27/the-vp-of-devils-advocacy/) to think with the assumption that everyone else is wrong when projects like the [Final Test Test Drive](http://www.miniusa.com/content/miniusa/en/FTTD/Final-Test-Test-Drive.html) and the [Motoring Tag](http://motoringtag.com/content/mt/en.html) are put on the table. Based on Adam Sandler’s latest movie trailer, [Pixels](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bGwrxp_VWE), it appears that MINI USA has yet to find this VP. Or worse, they haven’t even started looking for one.
According to [IMdb](http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001060/?ref_=tt_ov_dr), Pixels tells the story of how aliens attack the Earth in the form of classic video games characters. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself why is this relevant to MINI? As it turns out, one of the bad guys in this movie is the legendary [Pac-Mac](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man), which is kind of counter-intuitive if you ask me. To save the day, four ghosts named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde have to hunt-down and kill Pac-Mac. If you’ve watched the trailer, you know that these ghosts are four colorful F56 Cooper S MINIs.
Until critics watch the movie, if they have the strength to do so, we won’t comment on its content. However, Adam Sandler’s track record is not in his favor, and there’s a slight chance this might be yet another flop. Actually, chances are very, very high. And so we wonder why does MINI, and by extension MINI USA, sponsor something like this? What values could a Sandler production possibly have in common with the MINI brand? It’s even difficult to imagine the kids that are going to see this movie with their parents asking them to buy a MINI. Their world is dominated by Minecraft where Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are unknown entities.
With limited knowledge of the inner-workings of MINI USA beside what we gather from press releases, it is easy to criticize their marketing efforts. So instead of doing so, let’s see how this product placement compares to other campaigns the BMW Group – directly or indirectly – participated in over the past 13 years:
– The Hire (2001-2002)
– The Bourne Identity (2002)
– The Italian Job (2003)
– Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
– Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
We’ve probably omitted some titles, but every movie on this list made enthusiasts fall in love even more with their MINIs or BMWs. And it is safe to assume that these features drove sales to some extent. Next to that, we’re not sure what Pixels could accomplish. So if anyone understands where MINI USA Marketing is heading, please let us know, because we have a hard time figuring it out.
If this doesn’t want to make you buy an M3, we don’t know what will.