MINI Cooper – MINI PowerGames

the curious company, San Francisco


Last year the MINI brand was faced with several challenges – in addition to a sucker punch from the economy, MINI was no longer the new kid on the block. Hype and momentum had stalled and its distinctiveness as a small, fun, fuel-efficient car was being challenged by a deluge of new competitors (Smart, Fit, Fiesta, Prius, etc). Historically, MINI had always taken the stance of cultural challenger, with a unique and relevant point-of-view, but it needed to freshen up its perspective and regain its original moxie.

The agency (our client) challenged us to help them reignite the conversations around the brand – starting with the ones they were having amongst themselves and eventually extending to the outer reaches of their target audience. We knew the agency needed a shot of adrenaline to unleash new ways of thinking about the brand’s core assets, contextualized within modern culture, to help keep MINI fresh, relevant and unique. We also knew good, earnest, traditional research would only get us good, earnest, traditional insights and that wasn’t good enough. So, we convinced them to take a leap and do something they’d never done before.