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MINI’s cars and chosen stars ‘defy labels’ in its Superbowl Ad

MINI has released its 30-second Superbowl Spot ahead of the big game this Sunday.

The automaker recruited Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP) to develop the ad in order to tell 100 million people that labels don’t define its vehicles. Using hand-picked sports, music, and entertainment celebrities who embody stereotype-bashing careers, MINI mocks all the labels its cars have generated over the years while (in a nicer way) telling its accusers to stuff it.

Dubbed “Defy Labels,” the commercial and ensuing marketing campaign, directed by Christian Weber at Park Pictures, “inspires people to shed the labels society has placed upon them and instead define themselves.”

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MINI says it chose stars who had a relationship with the brand and who could align with the idea of overcoming labels. Featured personalities include Serena Williams, Abby Wambach, T-Pain, Randy Johnson, Tony Hawk, and Harvey Keitel. In addition to brief appearances in the commercial, each celebrity filmed interviews about the topic of rising above labels. These can be viewed on MINI’s campaign site.

“This powerful concept leverages the brand’s new sophisticated positioning, with a little bit of the MINI attitude that’s always been there,” said John Butler, chief creative officer, BSSP. “It goes beyond a typical celebrity endorsement.  This creative is all about not letting others define you, or for that matter, what you choose to drive. It’s about never giving others that power over you.”

In addition to celebrities, the 30-second spot features members of the MINI John Cooper Works racing team, who the automaker says “break convention.”

“This campaign acknowledges those labels in a very authentic way while simultaneously showing people MINI is more than that, said Tom Noble, department head, MINI Brand Communications. “With the launch of the new Clubman, our brand is growing up, our products are more sophisticated, and it’s time to reset the conversation.”

As Mr. Noble alludes, this campaign also brings attention to the automaker’s new Clubman, which just recently arrived in dealer showrooms.

Though football isn’t everyone’s passion, when brands throw millions of dollars down for a few seconds of your attention, it’s usually worth watching. MINI hopes you’ll at least tune in during the third quarter to judge whether it spent a good chunk of marketing budget wisely.