Mini Offers Whimsical NYC Activation

Mini USA has created an on-the-move New York City activation in support of the 2022 Mini hardtops and convertibles. 

The NYC Looking Glass bus activation kicked off May 24 and runs through Memorial Day, May 31. For eight hours a day, the bus will drive around the city. The theme is “Who says you can’t find parking in NYC?” and the bus features a convertible inside the bus, wedged between two large SUVs. 

The automaker worked with Pereira O’Dell on the creative for the bus and Universal McCann though fellow IPG agency Rapport to produce the bus.

The goal of the activation is to continue to promote new Mini hardtop and convertible models that received significant updates for the 2022 model year, including the addition of a Zesty Yellow exterior paint option on the convertible, say Rah Mahtani, brand communications manager, Mini USA.



“The activation is fun because it visually shows how easy it is to park our new Mini,” Mahtani says. “Personal vehicle ownership is up in a lot of cities, and people are going back to work, so parking is going to be tight.”

This type of activation is new for Mini, although the brand is known for being “disruptive,” he says. 

“We wanted to go back to our heritage by being bold and showing off our new model in an unforgettable and relatable way,” Mahtani  tells Marketing Daily. “Not only is the Zesty Yellow convertible eye-catching in color, but it’s the perfect vehicle for the warmer weather.”

It was timed to coincide with increasing tourism in New York City, particularly over a holiday weekend, he says.

The New York City activation complements the two-month Mini USA out-of-home  campaign launched in April in key markets across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas (first time in market), Los Angeles and San Francisco. Digital and static boards and wallscapes are positioned in high-traffic areas.

“It’s important that customers feel that brands are relevant and can meet them where they are in their life,” Mahtani says. “We felt that Mini has the perfect opportunity to make people smile during their day by showing them it’s not that hard to park in New York City -- when you have a Mini."

The BMW Group brand is also launching augmented reality digital creative for mobile devices. Consumers who search for Mini Cooper will have the option to explore the vehicle using AR. It will also be promoted via digital banners.

Mini has never before used an AR solution as part of its website or sales process, Mahtani says. 

“However, with the digital landscape ever-evolving and customer shopping research, we thought it was a perfect time to dive into this,” he says. "We want to show up where customers are at, and in this case if that means having a Mini show up in their living room, we’ll be there. It’s the perfect way for customers to explore the car and get a good sense of a Mini before they even get to a dealership.”

Universal McCann is also the lead on the AR solution. Free Range Games built it in partnership with the Google, using UNREAL Engine to bring it to life. The brand is partnering with Syracuse-based RAM Industrial Design, Inc. and Syracuse University students to develop even deeper AR capabilities in 2022, he adds.

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