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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Buzz-Winning Campaigns - Outdoor/Out-of-Home: Butler Shine Stern & Partners, MINI Cooper

With a brand as unique and customizable as the MINI Cooper, an out-of-home marketing campaign must be equally creative. Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners pulled that off and more with its "Motorby" campaign for the automaker.

To generate both buzz in the MINI owner community and as much press coverage as possible, BSSP came up with a program that began with sending a special key fob to select MINI owners in Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. As part of the package containing the key fobs, the owners were asked to go to the company's Web site and answer a few questions.

Then the fun really began. Working with a company called Wavetrend, which specializes in radio-frequency identification tags and readers, as well as its OOH partners Daktronics, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and OOH Pitch, BSSP developed an RFID-triggered system that read the special key fobs when MINI owners drove by and displayed a personalized message on large LED billboards.

When a MINI owner such as, let's say, Steve, drove by the board on his birthday, the billboard would flash something along the lines of "Happy birthday, Steve."

"This campaign generated so much buzz because it had never been done before," said Lynda Richardson, media director at BSSP. "For the first time ever, a person could drive by an outdoor board, and the board would send a personalized message to him or her. Because of its uniqueness, the press across the nation really picked up the story to marvel at its fun and mind-boggling capabilities."

The high-tech wizardry also caught on with MINI owner groups and automotive-centric blogs. In total, the campaign directly led to 90 million media impressions across several platforms, including The Today Show, print vehicles Newsweek and The New York Times and Web sites MotoringFile.com and AutoBlog.com.