Mini Cooper’s Haunted Countryman

The Spot: A couple is being chased by a masked man when they finally make it safely back to their vehicle, a Mini Countryman. The masked man suddenly gets in the back seat and begins to scream as if he is afraid. Next you see another masked man, this time with a chainsaw, who then opens the trunk, sets his chainsaw in, and proceeds to also get into the back seat. He too begins screaming and points out the front window to a group of young pageant girls running toward them as they speed off.

Click here to watch the commercial for yourself.

The Challenge
For years, Mini Coopers have been criticized for being too small in size. Minimal passenger and storage space was a set back for buyers and they were often referred to as “Clown cars”.  Changing Mini Cooper’s positioning in the compact vehicle industry was key for this commercial.

The Idea
Mini Cooper wanted to show that the new Countryman model had the signature look of a Mini Cooper but also came with more space in the trunk and passenger seats. 

Execution of the Idea
The commercial goes on to show the couple both comfortably sitting in the front seats with plenty of room. They then added the other two men in the back seat who appear to be fairly large in size. The two are still able to comfortably fit into the back seat together with room for another person in between. They were also sure to highlight the trunk space by fitting the chainsaw into the space with room to spare.

What works?
The fact that they went with a Halloween theme around this time of year was an effective way to market. The commercial goes perfectly in the middle watching a Halloween movie or an episode of a show on TV, and doesn’t come across as annoying as some ads would. It starts off looking almost like a movie trailer, making people more likely to keep watching. They also did a good job incorporating humour, which always goes over well when done properly.

What Doesn’t Work?
Although they did a good job incorporating the Halloween spirit, the first 15 seconds or so would be enough to give some people nightmares! Their target audience is obviously not anyone under the age of 18, but the costumes that the men are wearing are shockingly similar to those that are in popular horror films. The commercial quickly takes a humourous turn when they first man starts screaming in fear, but once that chainsaw started going, I got chills. 

The Grade
I would give this advertisement a A- overall. I thought the idea behind the commercial was well thought out and perfectly themed for Halloween. On the other hand, as much as I love horror films, I personally think that the costumes of the men could have been toned down a bit. Especially the chainsaw. I don’t do chainsaws.

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