BusinessWeek has a revealing article in its February 6th issue about MINI’s recent search for a new ad agency. Powerpoint and dark suits, it was not:

>MINI started out following a standard script, up to a point. McDowell’s first move was to hire Raleigh (N.C.)-based consultant Hasan Ramusevic, who handles a dozen ad agency searches a year. Ramusevic began with 50 candidates; MINI whittled them down to eight, inviting them to answer long questionnaires and visit headquarters. Of those, four were selected for a rigorous tryout process that would last two months.

>The first deviation from the norm came when McDowell organized a “boot camp” for the four finalists: a weekend immersion into all things MINI at a Rye Brook (N.Y.) hotel. There was plenty of face time and driving but the agencies were also required to perform in front of one another as each tried to impress the client-to-be, an unheard-of concept in the notoriously competitive ad world. “You don’t expect the client in these situations to be creative…that’s what they want us for,” says Scott Goodson, president of Strawberry Frog, one of the four contenders.

MINI and winnign agency BSSP will be launching the new ad campaign this spring. You can read the entire article here:

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