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From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

MINI On-Demand: Tweet to Test Drive

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About this entry

MINI USA's key goal is to get more people experiencing MINIs. However, the US market consistently demands larger cars. Unfortunately, MINI has a perception of being, well, mini and consumers don't fully recognize that the MINI Countryman is a small SUV – the largest MINI ever.

Two markets with great potential for incremental MINI sales are Los Angeles and San Francisco. With a tight budget we were challenged to maintain awareness of the MINI Countryman, increase digital actions (Hand-raisers & Leads), and most importantly get "butts in seats" during the Holiday season.

We needed a way to stand out from the automotive noise that surrounds the Holidays, something unique, ideally ground-breaking, that would redefine the traditional test drive experience, and ultimately sell MINIs.

We needed to get people not only talking about MINI, but experiencing MINI.

"MINI Tweet to Test Drive" is a never-been-done, on-demand social media pilot that gives consumers control on when, where, and how they experience a MINI, all with a simple Tweet.

During the month of November, when gift buying spikes and people are looking for the best deals, we created a unique moment for car shoppers to take control over their hectic calendars and let MINI accommodate their car shopping needs, stress-free and on-demand.

Partnering with Fooji, social media to offline experience expert, and Twitter, we created a one-month test in LA and San Francisco: Tweet #MINIonDemand + [red car emoji] and a fun response would generate with a link to schedule your on-demand test drive.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

MINI's brand heritage stems from its inventive spirit and creative use of space. Innovations like turning the engine on its side, and pushing the car wheels all the way out to the corners to increase stability in tight turns – always reinventing the status quo. So what if we could get people talking about MINI, get butts in seats and reinvent the consumer experience?

This couldn't be a simple test drive push – consumers behaviours have changed in the past few years, they are less and less likely to visit dealerships; the average car shopper only visits two dealers before purchasing a car, down from five dealers. Scepticism also holds consumer back from enjoying a test drive; stigmas like "Pushy Salesman Syndrome" and "Weekend Timewaster" leave consumers on edge, when they should be enjoying their experience.

To launch this first-ever on-demand test drive program we partnered with:

Aligned with MINI's spirit, we reinvented the test drive experience, created a meaningful social conversation, and ultimately sold MINIs.

Our media focused around the MINI Countryman and Plug-In Hybrid editions, two models that allow consumers to truly experience the inventive and fun-to-drive persona of MINI.

With promoted tweets, we targeted a 10-15 mile radius around the six participating MINI dealers, honing in on zip codes with the largest opportunity for incremental sales.

To capture additional Test Drives, we increased audience targeting to include tech-enthusiasts, and look-alike modelling off all of the participating Twitter handles.

Consumer participation was easy – tweet #MINIonDemand + [Red Car Emoji] and a cheeky response would be sent back with a link to schedule the personal test drive. Consumers would then input their driver's information, preferred pick up destination, preferred vehicle, and date and time that worked best for them.

Each Test Drive participant was picked up by a trained driver, from Dryver, armed with MINI information look-books and dealership business cards. The consumers were able to drive around in the MINI for upwards of 30 minutes and then dropped themselves off at their desired location. MINI would then follow up with a Thank You discount code, hassle-free!

Consumers began tweeting pictures of their on-demand MINI experiences, and the PR and social buzz took off!


Within the first few hours we successfully scheduled over 40 test drives, and created a new and innovative, on-demand automotive test drive experience for consumers.


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