Mini takes turn for the surreal in cinema ads

A naked man is hit on the head with a dead fish and an ad is played out in reverse in WCRS's latest cinema campaign for Mini.

Kicking off on 7 March, the campaign will run in bursts on alternate weeks for 12 weeks. A second tranche of activity will launch in July, just before the new registration period.

In the first ad, called "adhop", a Mini performs the slightly surreal stunt of jumping over the following ad. The car drives up the ramp and jumps off the screen to the right. The ad then cuts to the next spot.

The Mini later enters the screen from the left and lands on the down ramp. A voiceover, which is split across the two parts of the ad, runs with the line: "Mini attempts to leap over the next advert ... success. The end. It's a Mini adventure."

The next spot, "backwards", plays a typical Mini adventure scenario but in reverse. The ad begins with a man eating his hat in a Mini, with the voiceover: "Man eats hat. The end. It's a Mini adventure."

The commercial then runs backwards, by cutting to a black-screen with text such as "ten seconds earlier", to reveal the stages in the story.

It cuts to a beautiful woman grabbing the man's friend from the car and snogging him.

The ad then moves back to a conversation in the car where the man is seen telling his geeky, bald friend who is driving the car that if he ever got a girlfriend he would eat his hat.

The spot ends with the first piece of the story. A beautiful woman is shown talking to her friend saying how much she loves bald, geeky men who drive Minis, just as the Mini comes around the corner.

In "warning", the ad starts with ten seconds' worth of copy that looks like a government warning about violence and nudity. The ad cuts to a naked couple in a Mini. They pull up next to a nude pedestrian, carrying a briefcase. The man in the car then clobbers the pedestrian in the head with a dead fish.

"Cinema allows us to talk to certain target groups, maintaining a sense of discovery about the brand - something that is often lost when you use mass-market media," Sally Weavers, WCRS's head of communications planning, said.

Art direction was by Yu Kung with copywriting by Andy Brittain. The spot was directed by Traktor through Partizan.

The campaign was planned by WCRS and BBJ bought the media.