There is no denying that product placement in films, television, and sporting events has a tendency to be tirelessly tacky and overwhelmingly annoying. But there are occasions where it it’s done well. The first Wayne’s World springs to mind — but if you’re looking for a more auto-focused example, you need only look to films like iRobot, Minority Report, and the introduction of the Audi R8 in Iron Man to see what we’re talking about. And now it looks like we can add Mini to the mix as well.
We already know BMW has a fleet of 160 1 Series Active E and 40 Mini E electric vehicles dashing about the London Olympics. But what we didn’t know until now is that an even smaller, radio controlled Mini, dubbed the “Mini MINI,” will also make its way to The Games. This bit-sized version will be employed to retrieve thrown javelins, hammers, and a manner of other items used in the upcoming track and field events.
The even “minier” Minis will be shrunk down to ¼-scale, sport working headlights, are able to haul nearly 18 pounds of Olympic equipment, and painted blue with orange Olympic livery/logo and white roofs. According to Mini, the cars will be battery powered and able to zip about for 35 minutes before needing a recharge — which itself should take about 80 minutes.
While we’ve seriously grown sick of corporate sponsors and contrived “product integration,” we have to tip our hats to BMW. Using radio-controlled Mini’s to perform such a mundane task is certainly unnecessary, but adds some charm to BMW’s partnership with the Summer Games. We only wish we could get our hands on the controls and wreak havoc on some unsuspecting Olympians ourselves.