BMW preps for Mini

While it is still over 500 days away from market, BMW Canada is already gearing up for the re-introduction of the Mini. But it's not just planning the usual mass media fanfare for this sub-compact classic....

While it is still over 500 days away from market, BMW Canada is already gearing up for the re-introduction of the Mini. But it’s not just planning the usual mass media fanfare for this sub-compact classic.

For starters, BMW is hoping to incorporate event marketing, the Internet and permission-based marketing into the 2002 launch, says Tobias Nickel, corporate communications manager at BMW Canada.

To that end, the Whitby, Ont.-based Canadian subsidiary of BMW last month briefed 11 agencies that had either worked with BMW Canada in the past, or had come highly recommended based on their Internet or event marketing prowess.

The list included incumbent Cundari Group, as well as Blast Radius, G.A. Associates, Grey Canada, Invisions Productions, Operex, TAXI Advertising & Design, The Media Company, Traffic Communications, Webfeat and Zig.

Other agencies may be added to the list in the coming weeks, says Nickel.

The tiny car, which will come with a list of options comparable to that found in luxury vehicles, is being targeted primarily at classic Mini enthusiasts, as well as at ‘people who try to make a statement with the car they drive,’ says Nickel.

Given the nature of the target audience, Nickel says the Internet is an ideal communication vehicle.

‘It’s not going to be a very high-volume market,’ he says. ‘So to go about it via the Internet, where you can get permission to market to those who are interested, is a very good approach for this product.’

The Mini was last sold in Canada in 1980. Distribution was halted when the car, which had been in production without changes since 1959, did not meet emissions and safety regulations.