Mini USA and its dealers are returning to post-pandemic normalcy and are launching a campaign to celebrate.
The effort is a call-to-action to let customers know there's no need to take "desperate measures,” says Patrick McKenna, head of marketing product and strategy, Mini USA.
"In a cheeky way that is very ‘Mini,’ we're letting our customers know that availability has improved, and they can custom-order their own real Mini right now without the same delays seen a year ago,” McKenna tells Marketing Daily.
While production has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, Mini inventory and production have improved since the height of supply chain disruptions, he says.
“Last year, customers were waiting an average of up to six months for a new Mini,” McKenna says. “Today, build-to-order cars are back to three months on average from order to delivery.”
The new campaign pokes fun at the rise in DIY projects that took place during the pandemic and the lengths to which some would-be Mini owners went to compensate for not being able to get their hands on the real thing.
For many who couldn’t get a real Mini Cooper, a Mini dupe was the next best thing.
To combat the DIY trend and announce that production is back up to 100%, Mini teamed up with Pereira O’Dell, creative AOR of seven years, to create the “Don’t Do It Yourself” Department -- which pays homage to the original “Counter Counterfeit Commission,” created by Crispin Porter Bogusky in 2005. Crispin handled advertising and marketing duties for Mini's U.S. relaunch in 2001.
While the campaign is admittedly a brand stunt, it’s a tribute to the loyal “Miniacs” who did DIY their own Minis during the pandemic. Some of the DIYs were actually fabricated, including a Mini fully crocheted out of yarn, but most of the images were created with Pereira O’Dell’s AI Lab.
The campaign, which jumps on TikTok’s “dupe” trend, includes Minis created out of cardboard, duct tape and even ramen noodles.
The effort includes a 99-second video and a series of social videos highlighting the Mini-dupes.
TikTok posts are being boosted with paid media in order to drive more people to www.Miniusa.com/GetARealMini, watch the video content, and build up a following on Mini’s newly launched TikTok handle, McKenna says.
The boosted media will run from April 13 to May 10. The videos will live forever on Mini USA's TikTok page. There will also be paid media supporting the eight TikTok videos with additional organic content to follow.
The agency was excited about Mini’s openness to using AI for developing the campaign, says PJ Pereira, founder and creative chairman at Pereira O’Dell.
“Due to supply chain issues that lasted well beyond the pandemic, it would have been impossible to achieve what we wanted creatively simply because production wasn’t at 100% yet,” O’Dell says. “AI allowed us to DIY thousands of Minis at record speed.”
The Counter Counterfeit Commission campaign in 2005 tapped into the unconventional nature of the Mini community to highlight Mini’s customization and appeal.
“We wanted to bring that same spirit back to life 20 years later, but in a new and relevant way in response to supply chain issues, and through current channels such as TikTok,” McKenna says.
There are several “Easter egg” tributes to the original campaign.
The DDD head agent is named Robert Rolfe, a mix of Rob Reilly, Tiffany Kosel (later known as Rolfe) and David Rolfe, the original Crispin creatives on the CCC campaign.
The DDD logo is actually just the CCC logo, flipped horizontally.
“While we did not collaborate with Crispin on this campaign, our creative team at Pereira O'Dell wanted to pay subtle homage to the creative ideas behind the original Mini Counter Counterfeit campaign,” McKenna says.