PARIS - A German advertising agency, Jung von Matt, has been awarded the global launch account for the new Mini.
BMW introduced the new Mini on September 28 at the Paris auto show rather than this month's auto show in Birmingham, England. BMW chose Paris for the car's launch to emphasize the international future of the Mini brand.
Wolfgang Armbrecht, director of communication and marketing services for the BMW group, said the Mini account was assigned after a competitive review of several unnamed creative agencies.
The media account - which covers media buying and planning - is close to being awarded to French specialist Carat. But negotiations continue and no contract has been signed. In July, BMW consolidated its $150 million pan-European media business with Carat.
BMW plans to establish Mini as a premium brand within the small-car market. Derivative models are expected in the future. BMW executives say they hope the Mini will attract younger, more individual customers than the rest of the BMW range.
The main tagline of the global Mini campaign is 'Feel Me.'
There are three secondary slogans: 'Drive Me' stresses the unique sensation of driving the small front-wheel-drive car. Just like the old Mini, BMW testers claim the new Mini handles like a go-kart.
'Protect Me' stresses the car's safety features - such as its six airbags. Finally, 'Dress Me' reflects the countless customization options available to Mini owners - such as paint colors, interior finishes and music systems.
The Mini will be launched in Europe next year, and in the USA in 2002. It will be distributed through BMW dealerships and will be displayed in stand alone showrooms, or in separate areas of existing BMW showrooms.
Jung von Matt won the global advertising account even though it is not part of a global advertising agency network. These networks have been set up to allow national agencies to link up and provide a global service to the advertiser.
But Armbrecht said the Hamburg agency will make informal links with other agencies around the world, a structure similar to the Audi Agency Network - a non-equity grouping of creative agencies around the world that come together to work for Audi.
BMW and Jung von Matt are familiar with a network structure. Jung von Matt handles the BMW account in Germany and works with different agencies in other countries, such as WCRS in the UK.
In early 1998, BMW surprised the advertising community by selecting the relatively obscure Jung von Matt agency to handle its $80 million account in Germany without a review.
In addition, Jung von Matt won a $20 million global image project. As a result of the win, Jung von Matt had to resign its Audi account, for which it had done award-winning work.
The agency has set up a Mini team, separate from the BMW account, according to Armbrecht. The German agency will develop a general advertising approach that will be adapted to national requirements by local advertising agencies.
Armbrecht declined to name any agencies that will link up with Jung von Matt to work on the Mini account. But he said he has high regard for Robin Wight, chairman of WCRS, and hopes to continue to work with him. WCRS has worked on the BMW account in the UK since 1980 in addition to international campaigns.
WCRS has been the lead agency in a group of European agencies with strong national identities that have been working together under the Campus banner, a network owned by Havas Advertising.