Monthly Archives: May 2012



We’ve posted about many BSSP ad campaigns for MINI USA over the years.  Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners have won many awards for their work for MINI USA including recent ad campaigns “MINI vs. Porsche”, “MINI Rocks the Rivals”, and “Motor-Tober”.  They will continue to create marketing campaigns for MINI USA.

Periodically MINI USA holds agency reviews due to BMW’s purchasing policy requirements.  Back in January, MINI USA released an RFP for most of its creative marketing work.  After a multi-stage review process, BSSP won the contract.


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – May 29, 2012…  MINI USA announced today that after a thorough RFP process, Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners (BSSP) from Sausalito, California has been named as the advertising agency of record for MINI brand and dealer co-op advertising in the U.S. BSSP has been responsible for MINI USA advertising since late 2005, and will continue to support the business moving forward through the duration of this new three-year contract.

“The pitch delivered by BSSP outlined clear strategic vision for MINI’s future growth, detailed consumer insights as well as an abundance of creative ideas,” said Tom Salkowsky, Manager – MINI USA Marketing. “BSSP demonstrated that while their team was the incumbent, they are far from complacent, and have the creative edge that we will need to move the MINI brand forward in an increasingly competitive segment.”

The new contract begins in June 2012, and extends for three years. It will include BSSP supporting MINI national brand creative, regional and dealer creative, as well as media planning and buying for both national and co-op advertising. The decision-making panel was comprised of representatives from MINI USA Marketing and a representative from the global MINI Marketing team, Purchasing, Sales and the MINI USA dealer network.

“This was an incredibly challenging brief and process as we were competing with a strong set of talented agencies,” said John Butler, Executive Creative Director at BSSP. “We are extremely proud to have successfully defended the MINI business, and we’re thrilled that we will have the opportunity to bring some of the agency’s new creative ideas to life over the coming years.”

MINI USA’s interactive work (MINI, MINI dealer websites and social media) is currently supported by BEAM Interactive in Boston, Massachusetts; and Sanders Wingo in Austin, Texas was appointed in September 2011 to support all the Multi cultural marketing activities.

Read BSSP’s reaction to the award in their blog post We retain MINI, and add global duties to boot (Get it?).

See many of the live action, video, and print ads by BSSP.

MINI Takes the States 2012 events full in three cities

MINI Takes the States 2012 Activities screen

With the start of MINI Takes the States about six weeks away, Evening Events in three cities are already full.  People registering today were surprised to learn that Evening Events in Charlotte, Louisville, and Des Moines are already at capacity and further registration is blocked (see image, above).  Never before in the three previous editions of MINI Takes the States did any events have attendance capped.

We will bring you more information on event registration when we get it.

24-Hours Nürburgring 2012 wrap-up

Team Partl Motorsport MINI No. 143

The 40th running of the 24-Hours Nürburgring wasn’t a big success for MINI with just one team making it to the finish line.  From all the MINI teams in the 24-Hours Nürburgring, only the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE No. 143 of Team Partl Motorsport was still racing at the end, finishing 2nd in the SP 2T class and 41st place overall.  All of the other MINIs retired due to accident (s.i.g. Motorsport MINI No. 146) or mechanical issues.

Read the MINI Motorsport article Through the Green Hell with a glowing turbo.


Pos. PIC Laps No. Team
41 2 131 143 Team Partl Motorsport
119 4 118 145 s.i.g. Motorsport (Coupé)
127 5 80 146 s.i.g. Motorsport
142 6 41 148 Schirra-motoring
167 7 1 144 Besaplast Racing Team 2

Photo Galleries

Roundel magazine reviews the MINI Roadster

Roundel May 2012It’s not often that Roundel, a BMW magazine, puts anything other than a BMW car on its cover, but it did just that for its May 2012 issue.  The cover car is a MINI Cooper S Roadster which is reviewed inside.

But you can’t judge a review by the cover.  With the Roadster’s accomplishment, you might think Roundel takes the new MINI Roadster seriously.  Instead, the condescending author imagines the “Nancy Drew car” as suitable for a sixteen-year-old girl named Buffy.  Some quotes from just the first page (page 40) of the article:

“It’s just so gosh-darned cuuuuuute!”

“The Coupé is an attitude car, the ride-of-choice for the young rebel without a clue; the Roadster is simply the adorable kitten from the shelter: Won’t you take me home, little girl?”

“Here’s how goofy this thing is: I am smiling and waving at passers-by.”

So it seems the author, a BMW guy, is reluctant to admit he loves the MINI. He’s shown on the cover with a huge grin and even feels the need to explain that in his column on page 7.

All the condescension might be to hide the schizophrenic author’s true love for the MINI, since he simultaneously ridicules and praises the Roadster:

So what’s in store for you in this kiddie car, Mister Adult With Responsibilities And Good Sense? Well, first of all, it’s an excellent way to banish that image. As a roadster-with-a-lowercase-r fanatic myself, I must note the verities of the breed. Your neighbors will shake their heads as you drift out of the driveway on your way to work, tsk-tsking your apparent descent into a long-delayed adolescence while they inwardly seethe with envy. […] The Mini Roadster is simply so much fun that you might justify buying one even if you have no children, just in case.

One positive comment on the article is that it does give several great tables of specifications and data on all the versions of the MINI Roadster, both manual and automatic.

We can’t help thinking this article says more about the author and the typical BMW owner than it does about the character of the car itself.  However much they might want to like the Roadster, the perception of their image by others comes first.  Most MINI enthusiasts don’t suffer from this issue but will simply embrace the quirks and enjoy the sheer driving fun that Roadster and all MINIs provide.

To read this issue, go to the Roundel reader page, click the Issues tab on the left side, and choose the May 2012 cover.  Note: the website uses Flash and will not work on Apple devices.

MINI presents 2013 John Cooper Works models

2013 John Cooper Works models

With the addition of the John Cooper Works Roadster and the announcement of the forthcoming John Cooper Works Countryman, the six-member JCW model line-up is complete.  MINI announced changes to the JCW range in a new press release.

Munich. In keeping with the times, MINI will inject the ultra-sporty performance characteristics of its John Cooper Works models with even greater efficiency from July 2012 with the introduction of a new-generation engine and other far-reaching powertrain innovations. Fresh from an intensive course of further development, the twin-scroll turbo engine develops the same levels of output and torque as its predecessor, but will make drivers’ hearts beat faster with its even quicker responses and stoke their admiration with substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions. A much broader spread of MINIMALISM technology helps to enhance the efficiency of the John Cooper Works models, and all members of the sub-brand’s line-up can now be fitted as an option with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Added to which, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman comes with the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system as standard.

New-generation engine for the John Cooper Works models offers instantaneous power delivery and a restrained appetite for fuel.

An outstanding baseline concept and a constant flow of innovations provide the basis for sustained success in race competition and beyond. Indeed, a rigorously applied strategy of further development has also given the road-spec John Cooper Works models a decisive edge in their respective segments. Expertise refined over years of motor sport involvement has ensured ultra-sporty driving fun by perfecting the interplay of a powerful engine, advanced chassis technology, and bespoke exterior and interior design elements. And so the John Cooper Works models are poised to embark on the new season stronger than ever and with fresh power under the bonnet.

The family of elite athletes in the MINI ranks welcomes another new member in the shape of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. The five-door model is fitted with a particularly powerful variant of the new-generation engine. Its 160 kW/218 hp is channelled through an all-wheel-drive system to deliver a new take on outstanding performance that can be enjoyed not only on the road but also over rough terrain. Peak torque of 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft) is available between 1,900 and 5,600 rpm, and the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman dashes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 7.0 seconds – regardless of whether the power flows through the standard six-speed manual gearbox or the optional six-speed automatic. Top speed is 225 km/h / 140 mph (automatic: 223 km/h / 139 mph). Equally impressive is average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres / 38.2 mpg (automatic: 7.9 l/100 km / 35.8 mpg) and CO2emissions of 172 grams (184 g) per kilometre.

The new-generation engine can also be found in the MINI John Cooper Works, MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, MINI John Cooper Works Coupe and MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. The further developed powerplant is based on the unit in the MINI Cooper S and likewise uses a twin-scroll turbocharger, petrol direct injection and variable valve control based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC system. This throttle-free load control technology optimises both the responsiveness of the engine and its efficiency; lightning-fast reactions to the driver’s requests for power go hand-in-hand with a restrained appetite for fuel.

The technical make-up of the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine – which sports a John Cooper Works logo on its cover – has a direct link to the development of race-trim engines and has been honed exclusively for the John Cooper Works models. Its cylinder block and bearing mounts are made from aluminium and join forces with reinforced pistons, a particularly high-strength cylinder head and low-weight crankshafts. The exhaust valves are sodium-filled to help provide the extra cooling required by a turbocharged engine, and the intake camshaft features infinite phase adjustment.

The turbocharger, meanwhile, develops even greater charge pressure than the engine in the MINI Cooper S Coupe. The likewise bespoke exhaust system can be identified from the outside by its polished stainless steel twin tailpipes.

The engine produces its maximum output of 155 kW/211 hp at 6,000 rpm, while peak torque of 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) is on tap between 1,850 and 5,600 rpm. The overboost function allows this figure to be raised to 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft) for a short time between 2,000 and 5,200 rpm.

The new engine links up as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox tuned to suit its performance characteristics. However, the John Cooper Works models can now also be ordered as an option with a six-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic function. The automatic also allows the driver to change gear manually using either the selector lever or the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

The press release also gives European emissions figures and lists some standard features.  Read the full press release Innovations designed to provide extreme driving fun and even greater efficiency. MINI presents the new John Cooper Works models.

MINI teams in the 24-Hours Nürburgring

Schirra Motoring MINI No. 148

Last year, MINI Motorsport introduced the MINI Coupe by entering a race-prepared version in the 24-Hours Nürburgring.  Both MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance entries completed the race.

This year, MINI Motorsport is not entering any factory-sponsored teams.  However, four private teams are entering a total of five MINIs in the race running from May 19th to the 20th.

Number Team Drivers Car
143 Team Partl Motorsport Hermann Bock
Max Partl
Jörg Weidinger
144 Besaplast Racing Team 2 Franjo Kovac
Fredrik Lestrup
Steffi Halm
Jürgen Schmarl
145 s.i.g. Motorsport Ingo Gaupp
Friedhelm Erlebach
Jürgen Bretschneider
146 s.i.g. Motorsport Hitoshi Gotoh
Steffen Schmid
Dirk Lauth
148 Schirra-motoring Friedrich von Bohlen
Remo Frieberg
Hari Proczyk
Harald Grohs

See the 24-Hours Nürburgring Starting List 2012.

s.i.g. Motorsport MINI JCW

collectibles: Team GB window sticker

I'M BEHIND TEAM GB. window sticker

The Olympic Games take place this summer in London and MINI is an official partner of Team GB.  As we have seen, MINI created a MINI London 2012 special edition for the UK for the London Olympics.  MINI UK has built the Great British Roar advertising campaign around its support of the Great Britain Olympic team.  MINI UK’s Facebook page has a MINI Great British Roar app which let’s you record a roar to inspire Team GB and win prizes.  As part of this promotion, MINI UK posted an offer on its Facebook page offering free window stickers:

Free Bee alert! it’s not often in this world that we get something for nothing but the kind MINI people at MINI UK are giving away free car stickers supporting Team GB in the run up to London 2012 and Ocean MINI couldn’t resist sharing it with you – click the MINI UK link above or email then send us a snap of yours in your car! – the best picture will win some goodies!

Thanks to MINI UK for sending one across the Pond.

MINI UK Team GB letter

three-part MINI Coupe and MINI Roadster print ad



The MINI John Cooper Works Coupe and new MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. Separated at birth by a convertible top. Both with two seats and rock star appeal. Both with a six-speed, 208 horsepower, turbocharged engine. Both with a rear spoiler that automatically lifts at 50 MPH for better downforce, so you’ll never be late to another gig. THE MINI COUPE AND THE NEW MINI ROADSTER. HOLD ON.

The current issue of SPIN magazine contains a three-part print ad for the MINI Coupe and MINI Roadster.  Page 45 shows a MINI JCW Coupe with only the heading “SPEED METAL.” followed by page 47 with a MINI JCW Roadster with the heading “HAIR METAL.”.  The third part comes on page 75 with both MINIs and the title “GARAGE BAND.” below.

SPIN  is now a large-format magazine on thicker, non-glossy paper, so the ads are almost like mini posters measuring 9.5″ wide by 12″ tall.

These ads can be found in the May/June 2012 issue of SPIN.


RSR Motorsports and MINI of Charleston get wins

MINI of Charleston MINI Cooper No. 37

MINI teams were competing this weekend in two GRAND-AM series races with success at both levels.  The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the newly renamed TOTAL Performance Showcase took place in New Jersey.

RSR Motorsports got the win in the B+ HEROES 200.  The team has two MINI Cooper S and two Honda Civic Si racecars, and it was the No. 197 Honda that finished on top.

1. 197 – Fergus / Trinkler – Honda Civic Si
12. 196 – Farmer / Hart – Honda Civic Si
22. 198 – Gimple / Puskar – MINI Cooper S

See the official results from the GRAND-AM website.

In the TOTAL Performance Showcase New Jersey B-Spec race, Robbie Davis in the MINI of Charleston MINI Cooper No. 37 led the entire race and took the checkered flag.

1. 37 – Robbie Davis – MINI Cooper – MINI of Charleston
2. 35 – Brian Audet – MINI Cooper – Urban East Racing
4. 55 – Chip Howell – MINI Cooper – Pioneer Racing

Read the articles Davis Takes TOTAL Performance Showcase Win In New Jersey and Davis Leads Flag To Flag At New Jersey Motorsports Park, Wins TOTAL.

the MINI John Cooper Works GP debuts


MINI has debuted the second-generation MINI John Cooper Works GP.  Lacking any specific performance details, the debut is mostly an exterior design presentation.  This GP has a custom rear spoiler and a rear diffuser, but otherwise appears much like a regular JCW with custom paint and graphics.  It is still unknown what the interior will look like, although we know it will have the rear seats removed.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich. Only once has there been anything like it, but even that wasn’t as quick. With the MINI John Cooper Works GP, the British premium brand has come up with another car of exceptional talent designed to deliver extreme performance on both the race track and the road. The sportiest road-registered MINI ever made will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2,000 cars. It is currently completing a programme of testing in preparation for series production, part of which has involved setting an impressive fastest lap of the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit. The MINI John Cooper Works GP lapped the erstwhile Grand Prix course in 8 min. 23 sec. In so doing, the new model has put clear asphalt between itself and numerous sports cars from loftier perches – and beaten the lap time set by its predecessor, the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, by almost 19 seconds.

Underpinning the performance characteristics of the MINI John Cooper Works GP is exclusive powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics technology inspired directly by motor sport. Its twin-scroll turbo engine generates outstanding torque, displays remarkable elasticity and demonstrates a healthy appetite for revs. Specially developed, adjustable race suspension channels this superlative output into spectacular yet precisely controllable handling.

As well as being undeniably imposing visually, the design of the body also gives the MINI John Cooper Works GP ideal aerodynamic balance in extreme driving situations – a key element in delivering that handling flair. Large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler are complemented by a newly developed rear diffuser which optimises airflow around the underbody. The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP also contributes to the car’s inspirational racing feeling; with the rear seats removed, it focuses unashamedly on the needs of the driver and co-driver.

Concentrated motor sport expertise – faithfully embodied at MINI by its John Cooper Works sub-brand – is the not-so-secret ingredient in the MINI John Cooper Works GP recipe. The “GP” tag on the model title tells you exactly where the extreme sports edition of the compact MINI most tellingly reveals its potential. The GP’s chassis configuration, the effectiveness of its race-spec braking system, the grip offered by its likewise bespoke racing tyres, and its aerodynamic properties have been honed into a high-performance whole on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit, erstwhile venue for Formula One races and lauded as the world’s most challenging race track. The noteworthy lap time set by the MINI John Cooper Works GP is the product of this extensive testing programme.

The unadulterated transfer of motor sport expertise into the everyday driving environment has history at MINI; it was this approach that made the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit the epitome of extreme driving fun in a small car when it was unveiled in 2006. Specific output of 100 kW/136 hp per litre of displacement and similarly impressive reserves of racing technology have secured its status as a sought-after collector’s item today.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP follows eagerly in the tyre tracks of its predecessor – and with an even greater spring in its step. It will be in similarly short supply; the world will have to make do with just 2,000 examples. Hosting the preview of the new model is another grand prix race track with history etched into every corner. The MINI John Cooper Works GP will be unveiled publicly for the first time at Le Castellet in France, venue for the MINI United festival on 11 – 13 May 2012.

See the press release Big on performance, small in number: The MINI John Cooper Works GP. Fastest MINI ever built – Best lap of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife: 8 min. 23 sec. – Extensive use of motor sport technology – Racing feeling transferred to the road – Preview at the MINI United festival – Production limited to 2,000 cars.