MINI breaks the car-launch marketing rules

Geoffrey Precourt

Once upon a time in America, people had nicknames for their cars. It was a half-century ago, when families made weekend road trips and your car was a rich, integral part of who you were, not just what you drove. And, of course, it made perfect sense to give a name to the vehicle that brought you so much happiness: it was a sign of love for an automobile whose very presence in your garage was a point of pride.

Flash forward to 2014, and the affection owners feel for their cars has typically dissipated – but not for the quirky, tiny MINI.

"About half of our owners name their car," Lee Nadler, marketing communications manager for MINI USA – a division of BMW – told the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Digital & Social Media Conference in Dana Point, California.