Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2011 06:00 PM
You can only wish you were on the right A-list somewhere so that you qualify to get invited to one of MINI’s 18 events around the US that are associated with its ongoing “Wanderlust” social-media-meets-event marketing campaign that was announced on April 1st.
But voyeurism is the whole point here. MINI is hoping that brand fans and wanna-be owners of its Countryman will check in on how the brand trendsetters party. “We’re setting up these centrally organized events with influencers from different backgrounds and hoping this gets people involved in the campaign,” Beate Wiesner, Wanderlust project leader, told brandchannel.
The first event was a party earlier this month in Los Angeles featuring Chad Marshall (above), the manager of a well known local surf shop and 25 friends heading to a state park for a night-time surf and beach party.
Another LA-area event brought invited guests to Malibu for a private concert with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros:
There was a Trek bike event in San Francisco and a fishing trip in the Bay Area. Moving the action to Texas, an entirely different group of influencers (perhaps inspired by this) knitted a cover for a Countryman while at SXSW in Austin — a tradition that we wish dated back to auto enthusiasts making a model T cozy for Henry Ford.
Countryman cars and the MINI brand were ubiquitous at all of these events.
Building buzz through event marketing with beautiful people is typically used by alcohol brands, such as the Smirnoff-backed Nightlife Exchange project, or Kanon's Hamptons getaway last summer. MINI's goal isn't just throwing private parties with the young and privileged.
“We invited influencers who also have a high followership in social media in their spheres of work,” Wiesner explained. “They weren’t public events. Most times, they’re coming with their business partners and friends and family members, and then writing about it on our campaign channels” including a blog and Facebook.
It isn't just a velvet rope brand of fun — MINI also is trying to inspire brand fans to submit ideas by May 27 for the final Wanderlust event (presumably including some way to invite themselves) that will end with the awarding of a new Countryman to the originator of the best idea for a Wanderlust event.
But it might be hard to beat the cover-knitting idea.