Mini Plans Print Ad Touting Honor

DETROIT BMW’s Mini USA is running a full-page ad in USA TODAY’s Jan. 10 edition touting its designation as 2003 North American Car of the Year, according to the automaker’s top executive.

The print ad is being created by Mini agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami. No TV advertising focusing on the award is planned at this time, said Jack Pitney, Mini general manager. The award is being highlighted on the Mini website and is also the subject of an outbound email campaign sent to 150,000 consumers who have signed up to receive news about the automaker, Pitney said. Euro RSCG Circle, Boston, handles Mini Internet activities.

Mini Cooper beat out the Nissan 350Z and the Infiniti G35 for the award, which was announced during the media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 7. The award is given by a group of 50 full-time automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. Volvo’s XC90 won truck of the year, besting the Honda Element, Hummer H2 and Nissan Murano.

Mini, which is part of the BMW Group based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, has for the most part elected not to include TV in its marketing plan, said Michael McHale, Mini communications manager. Three 30-second TV spots created by Crispin ran very briefly in a limited media buy at the end of last year and will be shown at the Mini display at auto shows around the country, including Detroit, he said.