Mini's Deep Freeze Advertising Nightmare
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- Trust in the Financial World - Not
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Mini Cooper's promotional campaign in Germany becomes an advertiser's nightmare. Timing is everything!
Here's the story
In Germany you can buy the right to name a weather system. You'll maybe know that for years hurricanes and typhoons have been named by met offices around the world, usually a man's or woman's name and working through the alphabet. In Germany, it's different, there's a market in weather names. Just 299 Euros each.
So it was that the Mini's ad agency for their German domestic market bought and named two weather systems - one a high pressure called Cooper (colder weather), the other a low pressure called Minnie (milder weather). The logic being that weather reports would then be talking about Minnie and Cooper for days. Mini makes the weather! Free publicity!
Well not so. Weather system Cooper brought the coldest temperatures for decades, lower than -33C, with over 110 resultant deaths. And Mini's management have been forced to apologise.
Bit of a cock-up then?
Too right. Could they have avoided it? Maybe - here are some guidelines that might help avoid that sort of thing.
* Review all your marketing & advertising initiatives for potential downsides
* Employ your best 'lateral thinkers' in this exercise
* Weight the risks by proximity, severity and likelihood
* Eliminate the ones with most downside
Of course, you could still be caught out, but for me, the idea of sponsoring weather systems in mid-winter sounded dopey all along.
Maybe Mini should choose the Oktober beer festival next time and sponsor the names of some new beers. But they'll have to be non-alcoholic ones, otherwise any accidents from being over the drink-drive limit could be laid at Mini's doors. Mmm, so sponsor a pizza festival instead. Bon appetit!
This article first appeared in Brand Thoughts - my weekly newsletter. Read more editions at www.livinginsidethebrand.com/newsletters