Clever Advertising: Mini Motorby Billboards

Mini Motorby Sign 1

Now you can! Mini has just launched a new ad campaign, and it may be;the greatest one yet.

The ad wizards at Mini have done it again. In the past, Mini has pulled off some great campaigns, but many of them have been confined to the pages of a print magazine. Not this time-Mini is going maxi. On Monday, January 29, four new "talking" billboards were unveiled in Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. When Mini owners drive by these signs, a small key fob transmitter communicates with the sign and a personalized message pops up. "Lookin' good in that Mini, Frank" or "Stop singing to yourself, Tim." I'll let Mini explain how it works:

To "deliver" their Motorby messages, MINI will utilize Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology - or, as MINI likes to call it, "Really Fun Interactive Devices." RFID, which is used in everything from passports and credit cards to pet IDs, tollbooths and even ski lifts, has never been used as a means of communication with customers - until now. With this groundbreaking new use of RFID, MINI will engage its community in a conversation in a fun, engaging, dynamic and personalized way.

The conversation between Motorboard and motorist begins online when MINI owners who want to be part of the program answer spirited questions about themselves and most importantly, how they feel about motoring and their MINI. When owners visit the MINI Motorby website, they will be able to fill out the simple Motorby questionnaire. Some questions are as straightforward as a birth date while others are more detailed inquiries, including "What adjective best describes how you motor?" and "What is your MINI's nick-name?"

An electronic key fob - a small hardware device with built-in authentication mechanisms - will then be sent to the owner. The fob, which fits on a regular keychain, electronically communicates with the MINI Motorboard as the MINI driver approaches and triggers a personalized message that will entertain awe and delight the driver. Drivers might be greeted with Motorboards that take a playful dig at their chosen profession. For example, a lawyer's message might be, "MOVING AT THE SPEED OF JUSTICE!" Other drivers may receive a message that plays on what they perceive as the best feature of their MINI; owners who covet their car's size can have a laugh at a billboard displaying, "ACTUALLY, SIZE DOES MATTER." Of course when all else fails, MINI knows there's nothing quite like flattery... so, don't be surprised if you catch a glimpse of a billboard declaring, "NICE ROOF GRAPHIC, ROCKET!"

Sign content is created using the personal information provided, along with geography, time, and other general information. Mini owners can be recognized from as far away as 500 feet and, as long as the key is in an owner's pocket, the technology works for pedestrians, too. Mini says that the tags don't contain any user data, and the tags are encrypted to ensure customer privacy. We're working on getting a tag right now, so stay tuned for pictures and a video coming to Automobilemag.com in the near future. Listed below are the four locations of the Motorby signs:

CHICAGO: I-294 (North Tri-State), .25 mile south of Wolf Road, south of Chicago O'Hare airport (faces southbound traffic).

MIAMI: Palmetto Expressway, 25 feet north of NW 50th Street (faces northbound traffic).

NEW YORK: 10TH Avenue & 30TH Street, just before the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel (faces northbound traffic).

SAN FRANCISCO: 1-80 Skyway at 4th Street (faces eastbound traffic)

All locations can be found on the MINI website.

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