BSSP Takes Mini’s Label Defiance to the Olympics

By Erik Oster 

Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners launched an extension of its “Defy Labels” campaign for BMW’s Mini ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, which opens this Friday. 

The Olympic push is centered around a broadcast spot featuring Olympians such as Serena Williams, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, rugby player Carlin Isles, weightlifter Morghan King, boxers Carlos Balderas and Claressa Shields, beach volleyball player Jake Gibb and swimmer Cullen Jones. Each of the athletes announces a label they’ve had applied to them reductively, such as “poor,” “black,” “immigrant” “Muslim,” and “cancer patient” (Gibb is a two-time cancer survivor), before Williams concludes, “The only label that matters is Olympian.” 

It’s a nice extension of the larger “Defy Labels” campaign and the different message helps the brand stand apart from the large pack of Olympics spots, most of which had debuts preceding this effort. The mix of Williams’ star power with relatively lesser-known Olympians is a nice touch as well, as is the decision to let Williams deliver the concluding line. A series of online interviews with individual athletes from the broadcast spot rounds out the effort.

“The campaign targets the Mini mind-set,” Tom Noble, head of marketing for the brand, told Adweek. “It’s about people who think independently. Our fans are people who appreciate design and also appreciate individuality. What we do know is that the Olympics indexes highly with our fans. They appreciate sports, and there are a lot of sports during these Games which are unique and different, only coming around every four years, and so this is a good platform to reach our audience.”


“We have a message that is topical if you look at what’s going on in today’s world, and you get a real, authentic view of what people’s struggles are and what they have overcome,” he added. “We believe having a relevant, inspiring message with a topical theme should cut through.” 

Client: Mini
Agency: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
Chief Creative Officer: John Butler
Creative Director: Mark Krajan
Senior Art Director: Sinan Dagli
Senior Copywriter: Luke Zehner
Senior Producer: Lori Pisani
Head of Integrated Production: Adrienne Cummins
Account Director: Danny Peters
Account Supervisor: Michelle Finelli
Business Manager: Nihad Peavler
Director: Matt Baron
Company: All Day Every Day
Editor (TV):Pete Koob
Editor: Christopher Kasper
Editor: Andy Berner
Editorial Company: Cut & Run
Music: Joaby Deal
Music Company: One Union
Color Grading: Shane Reed
Color Grading Company: Apache
Finish: Jogger