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Ads We Like: Mini USA uses analog tech to capture a storybook feel


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

February 12, 2020 | 3 min read

Mini USA is using creative tools of the past to highlight the story behind its brand. ‘The Inner Drive’ tells the story of how the first Mini was introduced to the world in a new interactive way.

Mini Inner Drive

Mini's 'Inner Drive' campaign

More than 60 years ago, Englishman Alec Issigonis presented a new idea to the world – a small, space-efficient, fuel-efficient car that sparked a revolution in automotive. What started as an innovative idea on paper ultimately made the world rethink what it means to drive, while celebrating the power of small things.

The campaign uses a combination of artistic illustration, light and shadow, all captured in live action. Together the elements tell the story of how the first Mini came to be.

Created in collaboration with advertising agency 360i, Italian artist Virgilio Villoresi and illustrator Virginia Mori, ‘The Inner Drive’ centers around a 70-second film that unfolds within a handmade storybook.

The crafted short tells the story of Alec’s creative journey – from the moment he came up with his ground-breaking idea through the manufacturing process and the presentation of the first car to reporters. The effect is one of magic and light in storytelling.

A making of video shows how the artists played with light and paper to bring the action to life.

“The Mini brand has always embraced a creative spirit through forward-thinking ideas since the inception of the first car in 1959,” said Steve Ambeau, head of marketing and brand communications for Mini USA.

"‘The Inner Drive’ campaign allows people to connect with the inspiration and drive required to bring revolutionary ideas to life. Through the brilliance of a small, well-crafted story, this campaign celebrates the infectious spirit of Mini – a car built for everyone who loves to drive.”

‘The Inner Drive’ was designed and shot over several days in Milan, Italy. Various versions of the film, along with hand-illustrated posters featuring quotes from Issigonis, will be showcased across social and online properties, as well as in cinema.

This campaign is part of a broader redevelopment of Mini USA’s ‘For the Drive’ brand platform.

The Mini campaign is one of many uploaded to The Drum's Creative Works section. To load in a campaign for editorial review, click here.

To see the work and behind the scenes video, click on the Creative Works box below.

Mini: The Inner Drive by 360i

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