Paying Homage to ‘Not Normal’ Drivers

MINI’s edgy persona was under attack. Fiats were outselling MINIs and every other manufacturer had a compact car “big on personality”.


MINI’s positioning as custom-built and fun to drive is no longer unique, but what is exceptional is its community’s enigmatic obsession with the brand. Three out of four MINI owners name their cars and they are 20 times more likely to be proud to own one than the average motorist. They even demonstrate this passion by paying homage to their vehicles through paintings, videos, and even sandcastles on social media. We believed that earned media generated from these authentic stories would be more compelling than anything MINI could produce itself. MINI didn’t need to tell everyone why it was different; it simply needed to highlight the inventive passion of its owners.

We devised a socially-focused campaign and asked MINI owners to showcase their love using #MININOTNORMAL. More than 2,200 public affirmations were received including some wacky examples such as seaside sandcastles or wild flower beds shaped as MINIs, and we turned 300 into ads overnight using Live Poster digital technology. No image was seen twice across 110 outdoor formats which powerfully conveyed the intensity of this spirited bunch. Every time someone saw their creation publically saluted, they shared it on social networks trebling the campaign reach without any additional spend.

We wanted to say ‘thank you’ to MINI enthusiasts and create content that would resonate long after the campaign’s end. On one of the busiest roads in the UK, we developed a bespoke 3G-enabled Android app to broadcast personal messages to MINI drivers in real-time through digital poster sites. Motorists could also stop-off nearby to be greeted with free gifts like coffee, flowers or a take-away dinner. For others, we photographed them in their MINIs and made them the star of their own ad. The drivers were overjoyed, social conversations spiralled and the MINI community truly looked a fun place to be.


MINI regained its market-leading position from Fiat as the campaign reached more than 5.5 million and over a third of MINI owners engaged with it on social media. There was a 27% uplift in people considering buying a MINI, two-thirds of which was attributed to the outdoor campaign alone – the largest contribution from OOH to a campaign ever recorded through ICE.

Market: UK

Key Points

  • Richard Morris, Managing Director Vizeum UK

    This is a groundbreaking campaign that harnesses pioneering technologies to entertain MINI customers and commuters. The MINI community in the UK is incredibly creative, and has a very special and unique relationship with their car. We wanted to find an interesting way to use digital outdoor advertising that would bring this community together.