Mini Brand Fits Celebrities Into Super Bowl Ads - New York Times
By MICHAEL McCARTHY
January 17, 2016
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Super Bowl commercials featuring celebrities often fail to connect with viewers. They can be highly effective, however, when viewers see the celebrities as having an authentic connection with the brand. That is the creative strategy Mini USA will employ during CBS’s telecast of Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7.
The automaker is readying a 30-second commercial for its Mini Clubman starring six well-known faces: the tennis superstar Serena Williams, the recently retired soccer great Abby Wambach, the rapper T-Pain, the former major league pitcher Randy Johnson, the skateboarder Tony Hawk and the actor Harvey Keitel.
All have some history with the brand. Ms. Williams, for example, owned a yellow two-door Mini with a checkered hardtop. Mr. Johnson used to fit his 6-foot-10 frame into a red two-door Mini hardtop while commuting to Yankee Stadium.
“Either they’ve driven in the car in the past, own the cars currently or have some sort of relationship,” said Tom Noble, department head of Mini brand communications.
The commercial, which was conceived by the ad agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in California, will mark the beginning of a six-month brand campaign centered on the theme: “Defy Labels.”
With seating for five, the sport wagon will be the biggest Mini ever. The theme is meant to signal that Mini is defying those who say it sells only two-door hatchbacks.
“Mini as a car brand has been labeled a chick car, a cute car, a small car,” Mr. Noble said. “But once you’ve driven the car, all those labels disappear.”
Over coming weeks, Mini will roll out a series of online videos in which the endorsers will speak about disregarding the labels others have put on them.
The first videos will become available on Monday at miniusa.com/DefyLabels.
John Butler, the ad agency’s chief creative officer, said the message “is simply, don’t give others the power to label you. Instead, define yourself.”
Mini has long been a favorite of musicians, actors and artists. With the roomier Clubman, Mini now hopes to interest families.
Many owners of two-door Minis trade up to bigger vehicles when they have children. The new Clubman “is really a chance for us to say, ‘You can still get a Mini in a larger package,’ ” Mr. Noble said.
It remains to be seen if the audience will respond. Since 2010, celebrities have starred in a third of all Super Bowl ads, according to the analytics company Ace Metrix. But many of those commercials flopped with viewers, who sometimes simply did not warm to “polarizing” endorsers like Kim Kardashian, who appeared in an ad for T-Mobile last year.
“It’s almost like a movie,” said Peter Daboll, the chief executive officer of Ace. “An actor can be in a great movie or a terrible movie. It has to do with the story.”
Source: Google News Super Bowl Commercials