Last November, MINI let Twitter users sign up for on-demand test drives. The creative campaign highlighted the brand’s digital agility as other automakers failed to show up on social platforms.
If you were in Los Angeles or San Francisco and wanted a ride, you just had to tweet #MINIonDemand at the brand handle (@MINIUSA). After you provided an address and confirmed a time, a third-party service called Fooji would deliver a MINI Cooper Countryman to your home or office for a 30-minute test drive.
MINI spread word about the campaign with promoted tweets before and during the campaign, while local dealers sent out their own tweets and invited participants to visit their lots for more information. User-generated content added to that buzz, with participants raving about the event, sharing pictures of the Countryman, and encouraging their followers to participate.
As a result of these multiple avenues of communication, at least 430 users tweeted at @MINIUSA to schedule a test drive. By making test drives a tweet away, MINI reached consumers who were not actively considering the brand and might not have scheduled a test drive by traditional means.
MINI’s efforts to drive customers to dealerships extended beyond the social realm and into Google search, where the brand placed ads for the campaign against the branded terms of its competitors. If you made a lower-funnel search like “Mazda dealership near me,” an ad might pop up containing language like “MINI Get Away Sales Event, Visit Your Local Dealer Today.” These ads linked to MINI’s dealer locator, and were optimized to geolocate and pre-populate the nearest dealer.
This creative strategy aligns with findings from Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto, where MINI earns high points for its best-in-class competitive ads. During the study period, MINI included its competitor’s brand name or model in 71% of its competitive ad listings. For example, the brand served an ad against Volkswagen’s keyword “vw tiguan” that read, “Thinking Of A Volkswagen? | Think MINI Countryman Instead.” MINI was the only brand to adopt this tactic during Gartner L2’s study period, testifying to its digital agility.