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Consumer Insight Analysis: Mini Countryman vs Beetle

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When talking about the compact car market, the well-known models may MINI’s Countryman and Volkswagen’s Beetle. They are often considered direct competitors in this market. This article is to analyze the commercial for each model. Let’s start with MINI’s countryman first.

The MINI Countryman is a crossover SUV car. In fact, it is the first 4-door model to be launched under the MINI marque, whereas MINI is most well-known for its 2-door MINI Cooper. What makes MINI Countryman different from its past models is definitely the extra interior room and the all-wheel-drive system.

The objective of the MINI Countryman TV commercial (2010) is to show the improved function of the new line. Also, MINI Country represents the spirit of youth, fashion, and the urge for adventure.

Target audience
The targeted buyers of MINI Countryman has always been the same—young people who are seeking for fashionable and cool-looking appearance as well as a more interesting lifestyle. Moreover, as a model made by European, MINI is relatively affordable for young people. Consumer insight

For their target buyers, they believe the life will be better if people can “getaway” from the ordinary, and pursue individuality and adventurous lifestyle.

Creative idea
During this 60-second adventure, MINI used dramatic new methods in CG technology to show the versatility of the MINI Countryman in a way that defies the laws of space and time. The creative idea is that MINI countryman can be in multiple places at once.

This commercial was taken in Milan, Italy, which is really a beautiful and comfortable tourist city. It uses music as its language, telling a story of 4 young people in MINI countryman rushing to a ferry station. MINI chooses a piece of lively and humorous music. There are three boys and a girl in the car, all being young, good looking, and fashionable. The commercial also highlights Countryman’s features—5-door and 4-seat body SUV. At the very end of the commercial, the car jumped into the ship that was sailing out to the ocean. The top left corner showed the words “MINI COUNTRYMAN GETAWAY.” Getaway means escape and start. In this commercial, GATAWAY implies escaping from the boring and starting to enjoy the life as a wonderful trip.

The commercial has presented the car’s sporty performance. For example, when the car got close to the statue, it nicely broke into a complete stop and therefore avoided hitting the statue. After that Countryman kept breaking up into multiple units and they later emerged together; it is really an expressive scene to show the agility. Then the car went across the whole city—through streets, climbing the slope and running across the lawn. Finally, the car leapt into the sky over some houses behind and landed on the deck, which is exaggerated but deeply expressive.

It effectively conveys the market target and the features of MINI Countryman. The whole story only set simple plot, but it still involves some humorous elements such as drive slowly in front of police.

MINI and Beetle are all famous mini car, where both focus on their fashion design and classical culture. Beetle set their target audience as young, freedom, and fashion. Compared with MINI, the consumers of Beetle are more on the low side. Compared with MINI’s commercial, the Beetle’s commercial (2011) did not show any image of the car until the very end of the commercial. Using the image of a beetle instead of a real car, and at last showing the classic outline of Beetle, is the creative idea in this advertisement. Tracing back to half century ago, Beetle was designed for every German household. According to Hitler, “It is a car for people.” Because of the cute and beetle-like appearance, Beetle has been treated as women’s car at one time. However, the new Beetle was re-designed to a more masculine outline, which makes the model now suitable for both men and women. The commercial has focused on this point, showing Beetle as a neuter one.

I think Countryman’s commercial is more effective because it connects with the targeted consumers and their product orientation very well. On the other hand, even though Beetle’s commercial is also creative and expressive, it seems to lack audience’s experience and relativity.

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