2012 MINI Cooper Countryman - Driven, October 2011Enlarge Photo
If there’s a point in showing a guy dancing in a bear costume, or a knight-in-shining-armor riding a horse dressed up as a unicorn into a dealer showroom, we aren’t sure what that is. If that’s not far enough out there for you, the brand’s latest bit of creative genius leaves us scratching our heads even harder.
MINI, it seems, is mounting an expedition to Rovaniemi, Finland, near the Arctic Circle, in order to deliver children’s letters to Santa Claus. Just in case that wasn’t wacky enough, it will also attempt to set a new Guinness World Record by assembling the longest wish list to Santa Claus.
To compile this, MINI asked for help from customers in 16 markets, representing dozens of countries. On November 24, a convey of MINIs, including the Clubman, Countryman, Hatchback, Coupe, Roadster and Cabriolet will depart Munich to carry the mail to Rovaniemi.
Awaiting the convey at the Arctic Circle will be the new MINI Paceman and Rauno Aaltonen, who won the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally in a MINI Cooper. Aaltonen will be on hand to demonstrate his driving prowess in the Paceman, presumably to Santa, Mrs. Clause and the assembled Elves (who, frankly should be buckling down on Christmas production).
While we recognize this is all just harmless fun, it seems beyond pointless to us. MINI is a brand that built its reputation on delivering superior-handling front-wheel-drive cars with a distinctive personality, so why cheapen that with schlock marketing campaigns and fabricated record attempts?
If you need to use gimmicks like a convoy to the North Pole, or actors dressed as knights on horseback, what does that say about your confidence in the current product line?