There’s a massive screen at the station scrolling through a collection of multicolour adverts and the odd news item. One catches my eye immediately, as I suspect is the exact intention. It’s the Mini ad. Since the reinvention of the Mini Cooper not only has the actual car been a triumph in design but the adverts, on billboards, in magazines on television have been innovative, quirky and definitely stylish.
There's a particular print ad that sticks in my memory though it’s many years ago. I can’t find any verification online so I’ll just have to trust my own recall.
This ad appeared in the Evening Standard magazine. On a full page there was a banana coloured mini with a black roof that's stopped because there’s been in an altercation between a lorry carrying bananas and another. On the road is a large empty cage, dented, with it’s door ajar. The copy says something about making a decision between assisting with rounding up the genetically engineered monkeys that have escaped or scooping up the bunches of bananas. A few pages later there is a fashion spread, clothes, accessories, which all seems perfectly usual. And then a few pages later is a repeat of the same spread but subtly different. Each image has got some monkey motif and the implication is that the monkeys have now taken over because the wrong decision was made.
Not sure how many Minis they sold on the back of it but it was clever and intelligent.
There was a Mini in my life once. It was never mine but I enjoyed many mini adventures in ’Baby Blue’. We used to buzz over to France where a certain speed-freak driver believed that he could race as fast as he liked on the autoroutes, and he'd never get any points. He certainly got away with when I knew him but I'm pretty sure you can be penalised on your UK licence, for transgressions in France. Minis were still pretty new in France when we used to drive round and round the Abbeyville roundabout and the advertising hoardings by the side would claim “Mini - objet de culte” which we rather liked. Mini Baby Blue lives somewhere else now, he wasn't really compatable with two children with his two doors and diminutive boot. I have fond memories though.
The “not normal” campaign has got me pondering, Mini are asking for our own “Mini not normal” submissions and I feel one coming on featuring a tiny yellow Mini and penguins!