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In the 15 years since launching in the US, MINI has evolved from the small, inexpensive car that it once was. It’s more premium overall, the finishes are top shelf – and it’s not so small anymore. In 2016, MINI set out to reinvent and reposition the brand through the ‘Defy Labels’ campaign – combatting the stereotypes and labels associated with the car. As part of an official sponsorship for the Summer Olympics in Rio, we created this television ad, “The Defiants.”
Since this was an Olympic sponsorship, we wanted to focus on the athletes, not the car. We started by searching for those Team USA members who had overcome diversity and labels en route to the world stage in Rio. We featured those who had grappled with race, religion, poverty, illness, size… you name it. Then we simply let them tell their story through a one-word label – that they proudly bore in defiance of all stereotypes.
The ad was well-received and rose to #4 in USAToday’s Olympic AdMeter Bracket. It garnered 36.7 million earned media impressions and was top five among Olympic advertisers in television view rate – with a 98.12% average view rate according to iSpot.tv. All brand perceptions saw lifts during campaign period, with “MINI is a brand that defies labels” growing +18.8 percentage points for the duration.