Jim McDowell, head of Mini in the U.S., has a wicked sense of humor and a great marketing / PR staff. The latest brainstorm from the little-carmaker-that-could? Launch a viral campaign challenging Porsche to a race at Road Atlanta on Monday, June 22. Mini will, of course, stack the deck in their favor. They’ll be using a yet-to-be-named ringer behind the wheel, and I’m fairly sure they won’t be running the full Road Atlanta circuit. With that many straights, a 911 or a Cayman would eat a Mini Cooper for lunch on the full Road Atlanta course. Set up a tighter layout, with more corners and fewer straights, and the Mini has a fighting chance.
This really is a no-lose situation for Mini. If Porsche shows up and Mini loses, they still get massive viral and media exposure. If Porsche shows up and Mini wins, Porsche will be eating an extra large helping of crow and Mini gets the same exposure. If Porsche completely blows off Mini, guess what? Mini still wins.
This is sheer marketing genius, and I salute Mini for this innovative approach to “win on Sunday, sell on Monday”. There hasn’t been a response (yet) from Detlev Von Platen, CEO of Porsche North America. I’m sure there’s a boardroom full of sweaty Germans trying to decide how they can proceed with minimal damage to their reputation. They’d be well advised to just roll with this and be good sports, because they’ve already lost this particular battle. You can bet your ass I’ll be tuned in to see the outcome of this one.
Source: Mini Challenges Porsche