Earlier in the week, we had a piece on the MINI Ad Agency Drive that focused mostly on the drive that took place this past Sunday at Butler Shine.  Now, we’re going to look at some of the ads that have been put together by BSSP and MINIUSA.

Since 2001, when the MINI first started advertising in the U.S., the advertising message has been unified around motoring.  Communicating what exactly the motoring philosophy is has been done by emphasizing MINI’s iconic shape, the ability to personalize your MINI (what MINI calls you-if-ication), the exhilaration of driving, and showcasing MINI’s place in our car culture (for instance, “The SUV Backlash Starts Now” which was an early tag line for a MINIUSA). 

Since December, MINIUSA and BSSP have been working together to evolve the message by weaving a sense of community through those four basic principles.  The result is that the creative work for MINIUSA’s advertising for the remainder of 2006 is largely complete. 

The MotoringHearts campaign that we have already seen parts of, will continue throughout the year.  For those that haven’t seen it yet, MotoringHearts is encouraging MINI owners and non-MINI owners to volunteer to do good for charities.  Apparently the dealerships have access to some motoringhearts gear that MINI clubs organizing charity events may be able to take advantage of.  There is also a special MotoringHearts grille badge available for those that have earned it by volunteering.

MINIUSA is also “giving back” by sharing some of their advertising space free of charge with several non-profits including Meals on Wheels, the Nature Concervancy, and a few others.  The basic principle at work here is that a MINI doesn’t take up much space, so maybe their advertising shouldn’t either. 

The fuel economy of the MINI will get more attention (the COOPER will be emphasized in this area more than the S) .  “OPEC, SHMOPEC” was just the beginning of the outdoor advertising.   In addition, if you direct your browser over to Yahoo Maps Driving Directions, MINIUSA is now running an ad that calculates how much gas is required for a MINI COOPER to drive the distance indicated on your route when the map is displayed.  NOTE: You may have to refresh the displayed map a few times to get the MINIUSA Ad. 

Speaking of mapping routes, some additional background was provided on MINI takes the States which is the drive MINIUSA has planned from Monterey Historics (which Cooper is the featured marquee) to Lime Rock, where MINI will prominently featured as part of BMW’s sponsorship of the Rolex Vintage Festival (Sept 1-4).  The routing for MINI takes the States was done such that the cross country trek had roughly 6 hours of driving each day on a route that comes within 250 miles of 75% of the dealers. 

After hearing about the ad campaigns discussed above and a few others, at the end of the day the MINI owners in the room at BSSP seemed to be uniformly happy with what they had been shown.   While MINIUSA’s advertising in 2006 remains on familiar ground, to the point a casual observer would never suspect changes had been made to the creative talnet behind the ads, we were left to wonder how MINIUSA and BSSP would handle the introduction of the R56 come the end of the year and early 2006.