MINI USA Press Release: Following a number of mysterious appearances on movie screens and billboards across the country, today MINI USA finally offered an answer to the burning question: Who are “Hammer & Coop”?! MINI USA officially unveiled the project – a highly stylized series of web- based films about a new action hero (“Hammer”) and his souped-up sidekick (“Coop”) – on the website Each webisode promises action, adventure and intrigue, and is sure to keep online audiences riveted to their computer screens. All six films, which will be rolled-out over the next month, were directed by Todd Phillips (Old School, Starsky & Hutch) and starring actor Bryan Callen.

The first two “webisodes” of the viral series debuted online today to coincide with the launch of the new 2007 MINI. Over the next month, the following four will be released – in addition to a mock music video for Asia’s “Heat of the Moment,” a popular 80s song featured in the last webisode of the series. All of the films were approached with the same level of enthusiasm as any Hollywood endeavor – hiring a cast and crew of over 70 people, including top actors, a world-famous director, and professional stunt men. From February 22 through March 23, cinema trailers will be showing in nearly 1900 theaters nationwide.

“MINI is so much more than a brand; it is a lifestyle,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA. “MINI enthusiasts embody the same sense of creativity, passion, fun, and lust for life that went into the making of these films. MINI owners are also a highly interactive online community, so we are looking forward to the reaction from people around the country, who will undoubtedly enjoy these films and share them with friends.”

The nationwide campaign also includes an array of unique and fun creative components. In addition to the visually engaging billboards that will be unveiled in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City, the creative team of Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners (MINI USA’s ad agency) has worked with MINI to create movie posters, print ads, a MySpace page, YouTube strategy, and a number of fun accessories for purchase online – including iron-on logos for tee-shirts, vintage lunchboxes, and gear inspired by the series.

“Working with MINI USA allows us to stretch creatively and expand on concepts that other, more conservative companies might shy away from,” said John Butler, Executive Creative Director and Founding Partner at Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners, MINI USA’s ad agency. “The result is always very fun and interactive. In a nutshell, very MINI.”

The “Hammer & Coop” campaign also involves groundbreaking media partnerships, including a Rolling Stone flip-issue due to hit newsstands in early March. The magazine’s first-ever flip-issue will feature “Hammer & Coop” on both the back and front cover, in addition to 10 full-color pages within the magazine. The March issues of popular men’s magazines MAXIM, Stuff, and Blender will feature “Hammer & Coop” in an 8-page fashion spread, styled and shot by world-famous fashion director Stan Williams – and in addition, Premiere magazine has also created a faux cover for their March issue, including 5 pages of editorial coverage written and designed by magazine staff. And for the first time in the magazine’s history, Men’s Health will integrate the campaign into their highly-read monthly workout poster.

“For the next six weeks, as the webisodes launch and more of the plot is revealed, audiences will get to know the real story behind Hammer & Coop,” said Trudy Hardy, Marketing Manager for MINI USA. “The goal is to effectively engage consumers in the brand by offering an ongoing, interactive dialogue that will keep them coming back for more and interested in future MINI projects.”

The campaign will also have a prominent place in the viral community, leveraging unique partnerships with digital media in addition to print and broadcast. Starting this month, “Hammer & Coop” will have a solid presence on popular online sites Second Life, MySpace and YouTube. The characters will be incorporated into Second Life’s “online society” on March 15, the trailer and video components will be available on YouTube after February 20, and a custom profile has been created for “Hammer & Coop” on the popular social networking site MySpace. In addition, advertising content will be available on podcasts and mobile phones (through iPod Infuse and Mobile Video on Demand).