Hey, You! Yes, You! Mini Rolls Out Personalized Digital Billboards


Mini found a way to innovate with its “Not Normal” marketing campaign by targeting individual Mini drivers who were whizzing past some billboards in London.

Though it was set in the UK capital, a la 1984 and Big Brother, Mini’s ploy wasn’t exactly something Orwellian—or even all that high-tech. With so many traffic cameras in the city, you’d think some IT guy at Mini could figure out how to tap into them and identify Mini drivers whose vehicular specs then could be passed on to the team customizing the billboards.

But, apparently, not: The company largely relied on trained human spotters close to the billboards to identify Minis that would be driving by the signs and relay that information to other humans who then determined what messages to flash.[more]

A sample of the individual appeals include, “Hey Cream Mini, what’s your secret” and “Hello blue Mini driver,” according to Advertising Age. The boards even snapped and posted pictures of the giddy Mini drivers. There were five roadside billboards involved in the effort over several days. Mini also added an experiential element in which drivers were offered a series of treats at nearby gas stations, ranging from smoothies to bacon sandwiches.

“Our Not Normal campaign is all about celebrating the unique and inventive spirit of Mini drivers and saluting them,” Anna Inglese, Mini UK National communications manager, according to Marketing Week. The billboard promotion was “a fantastic way to bring this to life on the outbound stretch of the Cromwell Road, using new technology to tailor fun, cheeky messages for our drivers.”

The UK market is holding up better than the rest of Europe, and Mini also has fared well in the US, where it regularly gets quality plaudits from the likes of J.D. Power & Associates. But overall the BMW-owned brand faces challenges worldwide from a growing number of miniature models such as the Chevrolet Spark in the American market.

If it has to retain its customers one-by-one in the face of such competition, Mini might just try it.


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