BMW Mini Shows Off Cabrio Convertible

BMW Mini is launching a global advertising campaign this week for the new Cabrio convertible with an integrated initiative that celebrates driving with the top down.

Featuring the tag, “Always open,” a line introduced in 2004, the U.S. campaign includes two TV commercials from German agency Plantage Berlin and print, outdoor and interactive from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif.

In one spot, two drivers play chicken in a muddy parking lot. The other ad shows a man who is persistently smacked in the back of the head by his friend when he tries to shelter him from the elements. Pictured throughout time, from the days of ancient Rome to today, the two men are in a yellow Cabrio in the final scene. When the passenger tries to put the top up, the driver stops him with another smack in the head. The ad ends with onscreen copy announcing, “The new Mini Cabrio. Always open.”

“[Always open] is much more than a communication claim. It is a set of values, the way we drive the vehicle [and] it’s also a consumer mind-set,” Trudy Hardy, Mini USA marketing manager, said in a Webcast last month. “Our consumers are open to new experiences and opportunities.”

As part of the new push, Mini is inviting convertible owners to upload their “open” times — how much time they spend driving the car with the top down — to a microsite launched to encourage social networking among brand enthusiasts. The new model offers buyers the opportunity to order an “Openometer,” a gauge that monitors drive time with the top down. “It’s really neat to see a marketing claim reverse-engineer itself into the product,” said Hardy.

Gatefold ads in periodicals such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly flip up to reveal a vertical ad that shows the convertible on the road with a blue sky extending up into outer space. “Unlimited Headroom” is the headline.

That same image is also being used in outdoor that takes over building sides. Headline-driven billboards picture the car with its windshield and top extending over the top of the board to add dimension and emphasize the open theme. Copy includes “Open sesame” and “Throw caution to the wind. Literally.”

BMW Mini spent $21 million in measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The figure does not include online spending.