2011 MINI Countryman: The Golf For Really, Really Cool People

August 15, 2010

MINI--the brand, the car, the lifestyle--took the automotive world by storm with the first generation, which included a great product and stellar advertising that was and still is part of an integrated, complete effort that has drawn hundreds of thousands of devotees (notice I didn’t call them customers) from all over the world. What MINI succeeded in doing, especially in North America, was and is to make any owner feel, and most importantly, look, cool while driving a MINI regardless of the version chosen.

But even the nearly infallible MINI realized that “small cool” limited their sales because of the MINI’s size. You really couldn’t use it as a family vehicle. They needed something like a really cool VW Golf, but with way more style and individuality and sexiness. Something that would make the MINI clan feel cool carrying their family around or while shopping at the mall. MINI had to grow the latest addition to the family by adding the Countryman so that shoppers would stay in the showroom and stay with the brand.
Well, this post isn’t about the vehicle itself, which has been well reviewed in many places. It’s a substantially bigger MINI meant for a family, available with all-wheel drive and the same fancy style and substance of the smaller MINIs. It’s cool to look at and has great technology too.

But how do you make it stand out from the crowd? MINI went out to the customers--see the article on the MINI Takes the States 2010 event that is showcasing the Countryman and bringing MINI devotees together from all over the country. A MINI jamboree, so to speak. MINI has gone out to the customers to make them feel appreciated and part of a family. Just superb marketing.

But there is one more aspect to the Countryman’s branding that has gone a little overlooked and deserves your attention, and that is the promotional commercial that introduced the car. It’s so cool, so on the mark, I watched it again. And again. It’s a little absurd in parts (the cow chewing grass?) and amazing in others. The musical score is very well chosen--Cyndi Lauper’s Rocking Chair--something you will be falling out of when you see all the details of this video. In just makes the MINI Countryman that much cooler, and makes you want it way more, than say, a VW Golf, which is sort of in the same market.

Tell me if I am wrong, but I think this is one of the better car commercials out there that doesn’t need facts, figures or some guy selling you low financing to bring you into the showroom. Well done, MINI.

MINI Countryman Video

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