MINI Design & Branding CARMONICA by DraftFCB Auckland

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Industry Cars
Media Design & Branding
Market New Zealand
Agency DraftFCB Auckland
Director Nik Finlayson
Executive Creative Director James Mok
Art Director Billy Mcqueen, Jonathan Fox
Copywriter Chris Schofield, Jack Delmonte
Producer Casey Kingcasey King, Phil Leifting
Photographer Simon Harper
Account Supervisor Anastasia Potter, Katie Loverich
Digital Creative Jared Isle
Released May 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Products
Product/Service: MINI
Date of First Appearance: Jan 10 2011
Entry URL:
Executive Creative Director: James Mok (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Creative Director: Chris Schofield/Billy McQueen (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Copywriter: Jack Delmonte/Chris Schofield (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Art Director: Jonathan Fox/Billy McQueen (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Digital Creative: Jared Isle (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Digital Producer: Kevin Akers/Michael Hilliard (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Photographer: Simon Harper
Public Relations: Angela Spain/Gemma Doughty (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Director: Nik Finlayson
Producer: Casey King/Phil Leifting (DraftFCB New Zealand)
: Digital Sparks (Production House)
Special Build: (Gyro)
Art Buyer: Jason Jones (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Account Supervisor: Anastasia Potter/Katie Loverich (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Greg Hedgepeth/Dave Hewitt (Mini New Zealand)
Account Manager: Toby Sellers (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Media Planner: Mana Tai/Renee Lee (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Editors: Blair Walker/Steve Cox (DraftFCB New Zealand)
Audio: (Woodcut / Platform Studios / Digital Post)
Media placement: Ambient - Auckland City - 21 January 2011
Media placement: Online Phase 1 - Http:// - 21 January 2011
Media placement: TV - TV3 - 2 March 2011
Media placement: Online Phase 2 - Http:// - 2 March 2011
Describe the brief from the client
The Mini is one of the world’s most customisable cars, with literally millions of custom combinations. Our task was to make New Zealanders aware of the sheer mindboggling ways you can customise a Mini.
So we introduced Mini Carmonica. A car featuring over 300 harmonicas, and an idea that pushed Mini’s customisation promise to the fullest. We’ve all seen custom sound systems before but not like this. The campaign appeared as TV, ambient and online, complimented by the overarching theme, CustomAwesome.
Describe the challenges and key objectives
Once we were sure the idea would work, we set about building the rest of the campaign. We started with TV and viral featuring the car literally humming about the city. This fed back online where the customisation message was brought to life even further. As ambient, the car toured music festivals, car shows and the streets of New Zealand giving prospective customers the chance to test-drive. The web aspect allowed users customise their own Mini music video from footage of their Carmonica in action, which could then be shared on Facebook. Information on each visitor user also was fed back to the dealers themselves.
Describe how you arrived at the final design
A protective veneer covered the car in order to protect the paintwork. And the harmonicas were attached using a heat-resistant adhesive. Two aspects guided the construction; the overall aesthetic, - to make the Carmonica as eye-catching as possible when out on the street, and airflow, to ensure the harmonicas were highly audible when the car was in motion.
Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The idea was a playful testament to Mini's infinite number of custom options, as well as a unique hook for dealers at the Mini showroom to get potential customers behind the wheel. The story caught the eye of the national news media, but didn’t stop there. Carmonica spread across the globe through motoring sites, car blogs and Buzz Feed where it caught the eye of James May from the BBC series, Top Gear. Now the world’s most watched car show is producing a piece on the Carmonica. The idea reached a third of all New Zealanders and since launching, test drives have doubled and visits to the Mini website have grown by over 800%.