Mini Cooper’s Brilliant Take on Horse Meat

Great tagline, lots of social buzz

Not every real-time marketing event—like Oreo’s now-famous Super Bowl blackout breakthrough—happens in an instant. Take Mini Cooper, whose marketing team saw a real-time opportunity unfold across several days—the week after this year’s Super Bowl, as it happens—when the U.K. horse meat scandal evolved from a marginal news story to critical mass. Amid the crisis, Iris Worldwide, the brand’s creative agency, pulled the trigger on a campaign that, with the support of ads in daily newspapers, would inspire more than 1 million interactions in only a matter of days. “It wasn’t just about speed—it was also about timing,” says Sean Reynolds, global creative director of Iris. “We made sure the work was released as the story reached its crescendo, and we did it across more than just social media.” The campaign was also right-on tonally. “Certain brands have no place commenting on or getting involved in topical news stories,” says Reynolds. “Here, Mini had the right product and also the cheeky attitude to get involved.”

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.