BMW Picks Pereira & O’Dell and 360i as Its New Agency Partners on the Mini Brand After a Review

One will handle creative, the other digital and social

BSSP had the business for more than a decade. Mini
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Mini, the BMW brand that went into review approximately six months ago after longtime AOR BSSP resigned the account, has chosen Pereira & O’Dell and 360i as its newest U.S. agency partners after a review. Their contracts begin Oct. 1.

Moving forward, Pereira & O’Dell, which went independent in 2015, will lead creative while the Dentsu unit handles digital and social media work, collaborating with Merkle on analytics. The Burnett Collective led the review, and all three account teams will be based in New York.

“The world has changed dramatically since we last reviewed our agency partners,” said Mini brand communications department head Patrick McKenna. “Our new agencies demonstrated throughout the pitch process that they are incredibly talented, creative, highly collaborative organizations that are built for today’s consumer landscape. They are ideal partners to help strengthen the MINI brand and accelerate growth in our business. We’re thrilled to have them on board.”

Pereira & O’Dell founder and chief creative officer PJ Pereira said, “Mini is an iconic brand that taught us so much about great advertising. We’re humbled and thrilled to have been chosen, together with the exceptionally intelligent guys at 360i, to bring the brand to its next milestone.”

BSSP worked on the account for more than a decade, winning two pitches for the U.S. and global agency of record work and scoring extensions of its existing contracts while also handling the media portion of Mini’s business. That remit slowly shrank as the client sought to cut agency expenses and comply with policies, instituted at corporate headquarters in Germany, that require new reviews every four years.

The agency officially resigned rather than participate in another procurement-mandated pitch. At the time, chief creative officer John Butler said, “It’s unusual to have such an extended relationship with a client. We appreciate that opportunity.”

BMW’s decision also marked the end of the Mini brand’s 16 year relationship with Boston-based digital marketing and experience design firm Beam, which thanked its former client for the opportunity in a related statement. “Sixteen years ago, we set out to redefine the experience of shopping for and owning a car. And we did just that, helping to create one of the most successful brand launches in US history,” said chief creative officer and partner Dave Batista.

Today’s press release notes that UM, which has been BMW’s media agency of record since 2009 and added Mini to its client roster in a 2016 review, will retain the planning and buying business “through an existing contract.”

The precise size of the new wins is unclear at this time. According to Kantar Media, the larger BMW organization spent around $185 million on measured media in 2015, with affiliated dealer groups investing another $135 million in paid advertising. Last year, the manufacturer spent approximately $35.5 million promoting Mini in the United States.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.