Fetish MINI

Case Study

Idea #4

Following MINI’s initial launch, CUNNING implemented a number of activities with the emphasis on allowing people to experience MINI in the flesh at carefully selected calendar events.

CUNNING also identified the importance of the gay community in style leadership and our work included a partnership between MINI and the gay nightclub Heaven. We dressed a “Fetish MINI” in a leather bondage costume and installed a huge sound system to lead the Pride March Parade (usurping the official sponsor Ford Focus, which was decorated with two rather sad looking balloons) and stealing all of the Press limelight as well as at GayFest in Manchester.


With 200,000 people lining the street, we estimate that with MINI leading the Pride procession most people would have seen the car.

At GayFest, Fetish MINI was driven in the parade throughout Manchester, where it would have been seen by 160,000 people.


CUNNING worked with MINI for four years from launch as their retained brand experience and ambient agency. In that time, we created award-winning activity that broke the traditional car advertising mould and set new standards in car marketing.


An interesting and unusual aspect of the MINI launch was that it did not follow the usual car launch practice of big media spend up front with TV and posters. Instead, it followed the ‘adoption curve’: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and lastly Laggards. However this was not due to a limited budget. It just fit perfectly with the overall strategy of creating desire around the car, launching as a style brand with style influencers. WCRS had already created the brand positioning of “It’s a MINI adventure”. CUNNING’s brief was to find an approach that reinforced that positioning whilst going beyond what was expected - to capture the imagination of style influencers and the non-motoring media to direct traffic to the website, to generate leads and to ultimately drive sales.

Wider Campaign Results

As part of the wider MINI campaign, devised by CUNNING, many of the marketing activities received consumer press coverage. In total 7.1 million impacts were achieved in a variety of titles including The Sun, Creative Review, BBC News, Evening Standard and Auto Express.

The launch year activity gave MINI huge word-of mouth with the style-influencers target audience and the work was a huge success. The work is now taught in BA Marketing programmes in both the UK and the US.

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