Mini continues to ‘defy labels’ in campaign starring Olympic athletes

Following the launch of its star-studded ‘Defy Labels’ campaign during Super Bowl 50 earlier this year, BMW’s Mini is now taking on the Olympics with a spot that features eight US Olympic athletes who have had to overcome labels to get to where they are today.

Created by Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP), the spot features athletes including Serena Williams, two-time cancer survivor & pro beach volleyball player Jake Gibb, and Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. The '#DefyLabels' Olympic campaign is part of Mini's effort to reposition the brand as one that embraces and overcomes its own various labels, like being called a “chick’s car,” “short man’s car” or a “slow car.”

The 30-second TV spot highlights the various obstacles and stereotypes each athlete has dealt with throughout their life, everything from growing up in foster care to being placed in special ed classes as a child.

Aside from the commercial, the campaign also includes eight short films that feature each athlete as they discuss how they were able to become an Olympic athlete despite facing challenges and setbacks along the way.

According to the agency, the campaign “demonstrates the triumph of defiance and controlling one’s own destiny.”

Tom Noble, Mini’s head of marketing, said of the campaign: “We specifically selected these remarkable athletes because they are different. Their stories are not what you would expect. In the end, it's not about the labels people give you, it's about who you are and what you overcome. It's about being an individual and creating your own path, something we as a brand know a lot about. These Olympians and their stories offer important lessons that reveal the power of the human spirit to surprise and inspire."

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