MINI USA gives backstory to ‘The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.’ video we posted last week..

Not one to leave any details behind, BMW just scurried up and reposted our report with some of the backstory behind the contest, winner, filming, and people behind the scenes (we like that behind the scenes stuff!), who were none other than our MINI motoring pals over in Sausalito, MINI’s ad agency BSSP.

BSSP ( is a full-service marketing communications agency, providing services in advertising, online marketing, web development, data analytics, integrated communications planning, brand identity, design and strategic brand consulting. (Makes the head spin, doesn’t it?)

In 2010, BSSP was named by Adweek as “Best Small Agency of the Decade.” BSSP is one of the largest independent agencies on the West Coast, being known for their highly creative marketing stuff .. Ok let’s stop right there with the press release drivel, a few more fun facts then we promise to stay on topic..

We joined BSSP on a MINI run back in September 2006, when it all began with MINI USA, also attended by sponsors Sracer, MC2 Magazine, and several area MINI clubs. You can see the footage in StarLord Mini Podcast episode four (wow, that really DOES go back in time, doesn’t it?) here. You can also get a few other mentions of BSSP and Miniology here as well join them on Facebook, Twitter, and such.

So, the back story..

On December 23, MINI USA and brought you The Best Test Drive Ever. Period. This began back in October (Motor-Tober), when MINI USA launched a contest for fans to submit their fantasy test drive, promising the winner that it’ll be made a reality.

Over 14,000 entries came pouring in and were evaluated on creativity, originality, and the best use of a brand new MINI John Cooper Works Coupe. MINI even partnered with Larry Smith, founder of the 6-word memoir project to help judge the entries. From all of the entries received, MINI USA selected one winner: Mathew Foster, from Portland, Oregon.

Matthew’s fantasy test drive submission was selected as the MINI contest winner, and a film of Foster’s test drive premiered online on MINI USA’s Facebook Page, YouTube Channel,, and in cinemas nationwide starting Friday, December 23. This is all part of a national media buy reaching more than 20 million viewers. MINI’s ad agency, Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners (BSSP) out of Sausalito, CA took the 6 words from Foster’s fantasy test drive submission: Stewardess, Salt Flats, Sushi, Paratroopers, Falconer, and made it into a wicked video (they kind only they could produce!)

“It is safe to say that MINI has officially delivered on the promise of ‘THE BEST TEST DRIVE EVER. PERIOD.’ and provided a once in a lifetime experience. While there was only one winner, MINI USA wanted to ensure that everyone could share in the experience, thus Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were cornerstones of the promotion,” stated Tom Salkowsky, Manager, MINI Marketing.

The cinema buy will reach millions of movie-goers during the key movie week between Christmas and New Years. Additional details are as follows:

2,707 total theaters
23,268 total screens running PG 13 and R-rated films
Timing: 12/23/11 – 1/1/12

Talk about making someone an instant celebrity as well 🙂

MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the United States since 1975.  There’s 110 MINI passenger car dealers, and BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey (as if you didn’t already know all that).