Despite supporting the SPCA since 2010, awareness of MINI’s association was less than 1% . This association mattered to MINI. Pets are a core passion for their priority audience, an opportunity to build brand affinity and engage with potential buyers.

Approaching the Christmas holiday season, a peak time for dogs being abandoned, MINI saw an opportunity to help the SPCA and boost their own brand in the process.

The problem was, in New Zealand, too many people write off rescue dogs as second-rate mutts with behavioural issues, so finding them homes, especially during this peak period, was difficult. We needed to change that.

The fact is, rescue dogs are as smart as any other dog and if more people knew this, more dogs would find happy homes.


Prove that SPCA dogs are just as smart as “regular” dogs by delivering undeniable proof that they can do the unimaginable – drive a MINI.


We created a global media sensation using incredible content from the dogs’ training to first engage the nation with the idea of SPCA dogs driving a car. This was leveraged across PR and social media to drive emotional engagement before the ultimate test – a live drive attempt on New Zealand TV.

This generated Earned media coverage in excess of $30m and ensured the live drive attempt was must-see TV. The benefit to MINI’s sponsorship awareness and engagement was enormous as was interest in SPCA adoptions, with a 570% increase recorded immediately after the live drive. This meant every dog at Auckland SPCA found a happy home.