Summer Festivals

Case Study

Idea #5

MINI also did the summer festivals. CUNNING produced a Sound-System MINI, which had the boot taken out and a large 4K Sound-System installed. This allowed DJs to mix and pump out tunes to passers by. In addition, hundreds of MINI inflatable tyres were distributed in conjunction with Pirelli, which were well received as a place to crash out.

In Ibiza we teamed up with Ministry of Sound to ensure that MINI was seen at all the right spots; chauffeuring DJ’s around, guest appearing in photoshoots and entertaining crowds outside Pascha. We even produced a pocket-sized guide to the island called MINI Misguided to Ibiza and gave away 20,000 across the island.

At Notting Hill Carnival we arranged for the Sound System MINI to be parked in someone’s driveway outside a house on the carnival route. This gave the impression that this was a private party rather than a marketing exercise, further establishing MINI as being endorsed by the ‘right’ people.


With the MINI positioned at the only entrance to Knebworth and V2001, it is estimated that 80% of attendees (110,000 people) would have come into contact with the car. 10,000 MINI branded hats were given out at both Knebworth and V2001, as well as 12,000 MINI Tattoos and 675 oversized branded tyres for people to sit on.

According to organisers, Notting Hill Carnival had over 1 million visitors lining the streets of Westbourne Grove. We estimate that of these visitors, 20% would have seen the MINI with a total hit of 200,000 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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