FYI 08.14.08

Mini Is Back With Bourne, Ikea Canada Pops With Dancer Robert Muraine

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A chili red Mini Cooper S is featured in adrenalin-pumping driving scenes in the recently released "The Bourne Conspiracy" video game, which retails for about $60 for an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console.

Kate Alini, marketing communications manager of the BMW-owned brand, told Advertising Age that Madison Road Entertainment Integration Agency, Los Angeles, brought the deal to Mini's ad agency, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, Calif., which then collaborated with Mini USA and game developers' Vivendi Games on execution.

She declined to reveal Mini's exact spending for the effort, saying only it was a "very efficient investment and represents a small fraction of our interactive media budget." Ms. Alini called the integration a "perfect fit" for Mini, as it "allows us to reach an active, passionate gamer audience and it demonstrates core brand attributes that are inherent in the full line of Mini models -- performance, agility and handling."

Mini is promoting the game on and introduced the game early to the thousands of attendees at its summer events in four cities with giveaways of co-branded posters and game demos. -- Jean Halliday
Ikea Canada is garnering attention with an American import. The home-furnishings giant tapped Robert Muraine, who has gained recognition for his "popping" dance style on Fox Network's "So You Think You Can Dance," to star in its fall marketing program. Commercials featuring Mr. Muraine began airing earlier this month, just before he was set to compete in a dance off on the show. He won that competition, increasing his profile and attracting plenty of attention for the new campaign.
Ikea: Couch
Spots from the new campaign include 'Couch,' 'Lamp' and 'Vase.'

The effort includes 15- and 30-second spots, as well as a "Do you think you can decorate?" contest. In the spots, Mr. Muraine and Canadian dancer Shugamai Johnson groove their way through decorating different rooms with Ikea's new fall collection. Ikea Canada's agency of record is Zig, Toronto.

Shelley Brown, partner-director strategic planning at Zig, said that it's not very often that Americans are tapped to headline commercials for Canadian retailers. But, she added, there's nothing particularly American about Mr. Muraine. "He's at least as well known in Canada as he is in the U.S.," she said. "He came up to dance for the launch, and he was getting recognized on the street. He said that never happens in Los Angeles." -- Natalie Zmuda
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