For one week in Stockholm last year, Swedes were spotted running like mad through the city, as if pursued by banshees. Their stalkers were all participants in Mini "Getaway," a mobile game of tag that sent players sprinting through the streets on the hunt for a virtual Mini Countryman, in the hopes of eventually winning a real one.
In "Getaway," players used their cellphones to locate the virtual vehicle and other game players. Anyone who got within 50 meters of the car could claim it as their own but then had to flee outside of that perimeter before someone else snatched it up.
Conceived by Jung von Matt Stockholm art director Daniel Wahlgren and copywriter/agency co-founder Magnus Andersson, the campaign was Mini's most important push in Sweden since the relaunch of the brand in 2001. The effort was a success, with participants averaging over five hours of engagement with the game and car sales doubling the subsequent quarter, as compared to the same period the year prior. The game's followers weren't only from Sweden either; they came from 90 different countries.
Messrs. Wahlgren and Andersson are no strangers to technologically sophisticated efforts. The duo was also behind Google's Heat Map app. Launched last year for Apple's MWC in Barcelona, the world's largest mobile congress, the tool provided delegates with a real-time visualization of the event's hot spots. Mr. Wahlgren, who's made stops at shops including DDB, AKQA and McCann, was also the art director on last year's award-winning Samsung Mobile Shakedown campaign, created out of digital production shop From Stockholm With Love, which he also co-founded. Mr. Andersson worked at Publicis, Grey and Lowe Brindfors before he co-founded the Swedish outpost of JVM with creative director Johan Jager and CEO Jan Casserlov, after meeting with the German shop's co-founders Holger Jung and Jean-Remy von Matt more than five years ago.
Mr. Andersson and Mr. Wahlgren are now developing another Google project as well as the launch campaign for a new radio station. And while many of the jobs they do are technology-heavy, they're "not about technology," said Mr. Wahlgren. "They are about engaging people. To do that you need insights and ideas based on the insights. We don't think tech in itself is that cool." Also, said Mr. Andersson, "Make sure to have a simple idea. People won't understand a complex tech-driven idea because for most people -- including us -- tech in itself is complex."