Mini vs. Porsche – Mini USA’s Race Challenge

June 14, 2010

As a satisfied, opted-in owner of a 2009 Clubman, I’m a recipient of all sophisticated components that emanate from Mini USA‘s online marketing machine.

So it was through an email blast that I learned about their latest wacky stunt, the Mini-vs-Porsche challenge. Yes, Mini USA has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Porsche to a race, and all Mini enthusiasts are summoned to cheer Team Mini to victory. If there was any doubt to the authenticity of this event, the irresistable tag line “THIS IS NOT A JOKE” put them to rest.

MINI USA vs Porsche email message

The punch line of course is that there is seemingly no way for a 170hp Mini to beat a 380hp Porsche in head-to-head competition. But then it’s anyone’s guess as to how this will play out as the details of the contest have yet to be revealed. Will it be on a test track? Through the hills of the Italian Riviera? Quarter mile? Paris-Dakar?

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Wheaties Fuel: Branding of Champions

April 1, 2010

In Safeway this week I was engaged in one of my more depressing shopping tasks: Looking for an edible breakfast cereal. It’s difficult. To my taste, most cereals are so bland and overprocessed that I can’t ever finish a whole box.

But I always need a day-starter of some kind. So there I was again — in Safeway, dully surveying the same aisle where I have been burned so many times before. Suddenly my eye was drawn to a bizarre apparition: an all-black box adorned with the glowering face of NBA star Kevin Garnett, illuminated with police lineup lighting effects and positioned over the logo of one of America’s oldest breakfast food brands: Wheaties.

Wheaties Fuel

A box of Wheaties Fuel was before me, standing out among the vast palette of beige, white and primary-colored boxes in the breakfast aisle like Snoop Dogg on the Martha Stewart show. I stood there an blinked for a few seconds trying to fathom the concept. This cereal is supposed to be wholesome, American, jock-y and very, very orange. And now: “Wheaties –Breakfast of Gangstas”? Whoa. My hand reached for the box like the root of a plant seeking water.

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