Mini Marketing: About being feisty, family.. and motoring

Non-traditional, off-beat campaigns have been the mark of BMW’s Mini’s marketing efforts since its launch in 2002.

Speaking at OMMA Video at Internet Week, Tom Salkowsky, department head of Mini Marketing, Mini USA, said the auto brands media efforts started modestly — with print, radio and out-of-home.

Now it is has grown to include a wider variety of media — but still keeping somewhat unusual marketing efforts, which includes the likes of creating a massive consumer Mini ride across country, as well as special modest and hopeful viral videos.

“We don’t spend that much [on marketing]”, says Salkowsky. "We build small cars. We do things nontraditionally: We ‘motor' -- not drive.” He adds: "We  maintain the authenticity of the brand. We are feisty — sometimes a little provocative." That includes videos from its "Final Test Test Drive” effort which includes one where a owner races up -- and down (in reverse) -- an urban parking structure in his Mini.

There are around 600,000 Mini owners. "We talk to them as family,” Salkowsky says. "More friends than clients... Many people in industry didn’t think we would survive at all.”

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