The new ad agency for the BMW Mini has surveyed the trends in customer-oriented marketing and produced a very interesting mash-up that seems to combine the grassroots feel of a Harley-Davidson rally with the exclusivity of Lexus' owner privileges. A magazine print campaign is running in conjunction with a direct mailing to Mini owners that allows them to decode secret messages in the ads and win prizes. At least some of the prizes help customers participate in a two-week road rally for Mini owners.
BuseinssWeek: For Your Eyes Only, 2006-Jul-31, by Burt Helm
"It's a covert and an overt campaign almost simultaneously," says John Butler, a creative director at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Mini's new ad agency. "If you get the kit, you're rewarded. If not, you get the gist that owning a Mini is like being in a club." The prizes perpetuate that clubbiness. The first will be an invitation to join Mini's upcoming "Mini Takes the States" event, a cross-country rally where hundreds of Mini Coopers will drive from Monterey, Calif., to Lakeville, Conn.