Tag Archives : BSSP

The MINI “Defy Labels” Ad Campaign

MINI Defy Labels Campaign

MINI officially announced their Super Bowl ad which has already been given a sneak peek online.

An interesting note: there are actually two slightly different versions of the ad.  In version 1, Harvey Keitel says, “This car doesn’t care what you call it.”  In version 2, which MINI USA posted to Twitter, Keitel says, “This is a car that doesn’t give a damn what you call it.”

Version 1:

Version 2:

MINI USA also released a behind-the-scenes video.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ. As more than 100 million viewers around the world prepare to tune into the Super Bowl on February 7, MINI is unveiling its star-studded 30-second spot, set to air in the third quarter of the year’s biggest night in television advertising. The ad is already available on the campaign’s microsite at MINIUSA.com/defylabels.

The ad, created by Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP), embraces many of the labels the brand has experienced over the years with a very powerful message: it doesn’t care what you call it. “Defy Labels,” has its roots in the fact that everyone and everything is labeled but how you handle those labels is what matters. With defiance at its core, the campaign inspires people to shed the labels society has placed upon them and instead define themselves.

“Ever since the first Mini was built in 1959, it has been labeled as one thing or another. It’s small. It’s cute,” said Tom Noble, department head, MINI Brand Communications, MINI USA. “This campaign acknowledges those labels in a very authentic way while simultaneously showing people MINI is more than that. With the launch of the new Clubman, our brand is growing up, our products are more sophisticated, and its time to reset the conversation.”

The brand worked with an ensemble cast of athletes and celebrities to help start that conversation. Staying true to the nature of the campaign, MINI wanted to include personalities that had a relationship to the brand and could also speak authentically about the topic of overcoming labels. The spot includes tennis player Serena Williams, soccer player Abby Wambach, rapper T-Pain, baseball player Randy Johnson, skateboard legend Tony Hawk, and actor Harvey Keitel. Each also filmed a series of long-form interviews sharing their own perspectives about labels that are available on the campaign microsite at MINIUSA.com/defylabels.

In addition to the celebrities and athletes listed above, the “Defy Labels” advertisement will feature non-celebrity MINI owners and members of the MINI John Cooper Works racing team, who also choose to be a bit different and break convention.

“This powerful concept leverages the brand’s new sophisticated positioning, with a little bit of the MINI attitude that’s always been there,” said John Butler, chief creative officer, BSSP. “It goes beyond a typical celebrity endorsement. This creative is all about not letting others define you, or for that matter, what you choose to drive. It’s about never giving others that power over you.”

MINI USA Mayan calendar end-of-the-world newspaper ads

MINI USA Mayan calendar ad - December 21, 2012 MINI USA Mayan calendar ad - December 22, 2012


According to the Mayan calendar, the world ends today, so this could be your last chance to get behind the wheel of a new MINI. Right now you can pay just $0 down to motor* in a 2013 MINI. So, if the world ends today in accordance with Mayan prophecy, you pay nothing. Ever. And if you’re holding out for a 2014 model, here’s a little hint: that’s a bad idea. Good luck. Bye.


Correction: In the December 21st issue of this newspaper, we ran an ad referencing the imminent destruction of the world as predicted by the Mayans. It has come to our attention that the world did not, in fact, end. Good news all around. You can still take advantage of our $0 to Motor lease* offer on a new MINI. But in light of the world not ending, you will have to make the payments.

MINI USA joined in the Mayan calendar end-of-the-world fun with these two full-page print ads in the The New York Times.  The first, “WELL, SO MUCH FOR THE 2014 MODELS.” appeared on December 21, 2012, the last day of the Mayan calendar cycle.  The second, “WE’RE STILL HERE!” was a “correction” ad and appeared the following day.  More clever ads from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners.

Download the original images and read the MINI USA NEWS press release WE’RE ALL STILL HERE… LET’S MOTOR.



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 USA.com, 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 USA 10 Years newspaper ad

MINI USA 10 Years newspaper ad


More specifically, over 400,000 motorers.
Join the celebration at FACEBOOK.COM/MINIUSA.

As you probably know, MINI USA recently celebrated ten years in America.  They created a “Thank You” webpage with a high-resolution color image created with all of the customer names.

MINI USA’s advertising agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners also created a print ad including all of the names (shown above).  The ad can be found in the March 22, 2012 edition of The New York Times on pages A14-A15.

video: MINI Roadster: Topless Thrills

MINI Roadster: Topless Thrills video

Following up on the MINI Roadster Topless Thrills print ad, MINI USA released this teasing video.  This video is safe for work.


Here’s more on the MINI Roadster campaign by BSSP:

To launch MINI’s newest topless model, the two-seater Roadster, we created the “Peep Show” campaign. Creative support includes video, digital board spectaculars in Vegas, Times Square and Chicago, touchscreen interactive bus shelters in SF, OOH wallscapes in Dallas, Miami and DC, print (Maxim, Playboy and SPIN, etc.), digital takeovers and an augmented reality piece for Wired.

But wait, there’s more. Today we launched the “Peep Show” stunt at the corner of Hollywood and Sycamore. We outfitted a storefront to mimic a real peep show, with flashing arrows, red lights and all. Once you interact with the buttons on the outside, windows open to reveal the new MINI Roadster, rotating on a platform with the biggest disco ball you’ve ever seen hanging above it. Our apologies if you were expecting something else.

BSSP wins many ADDY awards for MINI work

BSSP MINI Coupe Launch Stunt

Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners took home several SF ADDY awards this year for their advertising work for MINI USA. BSSP won for its “MINI Rocks the Rivals” and MINI Coupe launch campaigns.

The annual awards are presented by the Greater San Francisco Ad Club.

Division Winners

  • Collateral Material: Poster (single) – MINI Rocks the Rivals Test Drive POS Poster
  • Direct Marketing – MINI Rocks the Rivals Test Drive Direct Mail
  • Out-of-Home – MINI Coupe Rocket OOH Stunt
  • Consumer or Trade Publication – MINI Coupe Launch Dwell Print Ad
  • Television – MINI Best Test Drive Cinema Film

Silvers & Golds

  • Collateral Material: Poster (single) GOLD – MINI Rocks the Rivals Test Drive POS Poster
  • Direct Marketing: Business to Business (Flat) GOLD – MINI Rocks the Rivals Test Drive Direct Mail
  • Out-of-Home: Campaign GOLD – MINI Coupe Rocket OOH Stunt
  • Consumer or Trade Pub: Full Page (4-color) GOLD – MINI Coupe Launch Dwell Print Ad
  • Television: Cinema Advertising (In-Theater Commercials or Slides) GOLD – MINI Best Test Drive Cinema Film
  • Mixed/Multiple Media: Consumer, Regional/National GOLD – MINI Rocks the Rivals Test Drive Campaign

See the entire list of 2012 SF ADDY Award Winners.

BSSP creates Manual Up ad campaign

Manual Up - MINI Manual Driving School banner

MINI USA’s advertising agency Butler, Shine, Stern + Partners (BSSP) is launching a new ad campaign promoting the manual transmission.  “Manual Up” is the slogan with several clever taglines playing on the word “stick”.  MINI owners already have one of the highest rates of manual transmission purchasing.  According to Thomas Salkowsky, MINI brand marketing manager:

[A]bout 34% of buyers of the Clubman, the MINI Cooper convertible and the hard top buy the manual version, and that even for the AWD version of the Countryman, MINI’s answer for a crossover, the manual take rate is about 30%.

Manual Up - STICK HAPPENS. posterManual Up - EXHILARATION ON A STICK. posterOne wonders if the shortage of AISIN manual transmissions from Japan prompted this campaign, especially since dealers are offering a $500 discount for MINIs with a manual transmission.

It is unclear whether there will be print ads, but BSSP has created banner ads and posters. MINI USA’s Facebook page will have an ad that “communicates ‘Manualhood’ and exhilaration”.  Much like Crispin Porter + Bogusky did for the launch of the MINI Convertible, BSSP will set up a phone number 855-MANUAL-UP (855-626-8258) with a “humorous message about what it means to be in the ‘hood”.

A note for MINI collectors: the ad campaign will feature posters, car antenna toppers, and a dealer “Manualhood” Motoring Manual.

See more Manual Up advertising materials on BSSP’s blog post TIME TO MANUAL UP.

Read more about the Manual Up marketing campaign at MediaPost News Mini: Get In Touch With Your Inner ‘Manualhood’.

BSSP: MINI Countryman Billboard in Times Square

MINI Countryman Billboard in Times Square

Following up on the first MINI Countryman billboard, MINI USA’s advertising agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners has created a much larger building wrap billboard in Times Square.  BSSP describes it:

Amidst the clutter, neon and noise of Times Square we used the launch of the all-new four-wheel drive MINI Countryman to do something simple, quiet and, dare we say, beautiful. The eight panel OOH takeover has two fiberglass Countryman mounted on an idyllic mountain scene with the words: Let it Snow.

See more photos at BSSP’s Let It Snow in Times Square.