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The Brooklyn Brothers on helping Mini UK drive success for its first all-electric car

The Mini Electric launch tapped into the feeling of driving the car.

The Brooklyn Brothers won the ’Automotive and Transport’ category at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021 with its campaign for Mini UK. Read how the team navigated a challenger model to success, in a crowded market and amidst the pandemic.

The challenge

March 2020 saw the launch of Mini’s first ever all-electric car. An iconic car deserved an iconic launch. However, it was entering a heavily cluttered market, with numerous electric competitors vying for the attention of the 6% of car buyers opting for an electric alternative.

2020 was a remarkable challenge for the automotive industry. Economic uncertainty caused people to tighten their belts or delay significant purchase decisions. Personal transport needs shifted and demand for new cars significantly reduced, evidenced by a 29.4% drop in new car sales in 2020.

To add to this, government restrictions forced showrooms to close for long periods of time making it difficult to offer test drives. This meant asking people to put down a deposit for a car most wouldn’t be able to test drive and wouldn’t be able to take home for up to three months.

The goals for the campaign included an ambitious sales target of 2,500 sales in 2020 and a brand objective to make Mini Electric the most desired small electric car on the market.

The strategy

Others in the market were positioning their electric offerings as part of the future, bathing the car’s exteriors in blue neon lights, pitching them as ‘urban mobility solutions’.

The team at The Brooklyn Brothers felt that the best thing about being in a Mini Electric is the experience behind the wheel: “The world feels brighter, more fun, more optimistic even. So we took a different tack. We didn’t just launch a car. We launched a feeling.“

They devised a multichannel ATL and digital ecosystem, driven by clever use of data, that would tie together TV, OOH, paid digital media, social media, influencer, retailer assets, CRM and a dedicated Electric area on the website.

Every communication, in every channel was designed to bring consumers a little bit of the Mini Electric feeling, bringing a burst of optimism and warmth. The idea was to create three distinct streams of communication, to reflect where people were in the journey, so that each person would receive communications tailored to them.

The campaign

The first stream was for those who had not previously demonstrated an interest in Electric. It relied on a series of attention-grabbing communications to raise awareness and excitement around the feeling of Mini Electric.

In January, 10” teaser ads hit TV screens, rallying people to search for Mini Electric. This was supported by short films in social media to encourage email sign ups that we could re-target. A film for TV also launched, giving the car its proper introduction to the world.

The team also developed a series of communications across email and social to engage existing customers and fans with the campaign. Mini retailers also helped us spread the feeling, disseminating the content through their network of social feeds and websites.

The second stage was to turn the hype into orders. This was supported by creating an ecosystem that could navigate newcomers through this new world, helping to overcome barriers and lead people to order. Individuals who had ‘implied’ an interest were identified based on their web browsing behaviour and previous interactions.

Visualiser and Configurator tools helped people step into the car virtually and allowed them explore the different upgrade options. Meanwhile, a bedrock of digital display and PPC was capturing the electric-interested and sending them to the appropriate place for them in the customer journey.

The third stream was for anyone who had decided to put down a deposit and order. The team created a bespoke series of communications to reinforce their decision and keep them excited, helping them get ready for their new car with helpful tips and download the app.

The results

Building an ecosystem around the ‘feeling’, the plan was resilient to Covid challenges. Even without showrooms to convert interest for much of the year, Mini smashed its target for orders with more demand than we could keep up with.

Overall, the campaign and additional share of voice helped to add significant share of search and additional sales revenue to Mini’s business during a time laden with hugely challenging commercial circumstances.

In year one of launch, Mini Electric now has 6.2% share of the electric vehicle market. And it got the UK talking about the new car in the optimistic way the team had hoped:

“It’s a car that brings a smile to your face every time you get in it” - Sunday Times, Oct 2020

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021. Find out which competitions in The Drum Awards are currently open and don’t forget to visit our new interactive calendar.