MINI Cooper Redefines Integrated Marketing

Sometimes for inspiration as a B2B marketer I look to our brethren in B2C marketing. Here’s one example worth bringing back for your consideration.

Situation: MINI Cooper wanted to promote a new 2007 model that has only a few improvements on the outside, but major upgrades on the inside. Television and print ads would do a good job of showing the exterior of the vehicle, but wouldn’t do so well explaining what’s going on inside.

Solution: Working with a limited budget, the carmaker’s agency used a series of six connected, four-minute Webisodes as the anchor for the integrated program. For inspiration, the agency looked to retro TV series and movies in which cars were the stars. It then developed a microsite and a series of short online films based on old The Dukes of Hazzard and Starsky and Hutch TV shows. The spoofs, called “Hammer & Coop,” revolve around a ’70s-era guy, Hammer, and his nimble, wisecracking car, Coop.

Result: Starting on Feb. 1, billboards, print ads, inserts in lifestyle magazines and ads in movie theaters reflected the creative in the microsite and Webisodes, and teased consumers about the plotlines. Web marketing includes banners on major portals and virtual parties with the Hammer and Coop characters in Second Life.

The Webisodes were designed to demonstrate product features, drive people to the Mini website to configure their own cars, and encourage them to visit a dealer. Each week, a new episode is aired on the microsite, hammerandcoop.com, and then is often shared on sites like YouTube and in the blogsphere. From Feb. 2 to March 5 there were nearly 790,000 views of the trailer and the Webisodes, and 150,000 visits to hammerandcoop.com averaging five minutes per viewing. The agency also notes that dealer leads are up 60 percent. Now that is both innovative and impressive!

For more ideas from the agency side don’t miss my podcast this Thursday with Chad Stoller, Executive Director at Organic!

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