I can’t decide if this billboard from MINI USA is frightening or just really cool. In several major cities, MINI (creator of the famous MINI Cooper) has placed billboards that can actually recognize passing MINI vehicles and greet the driver by name. Apparently the boards contain built in sensors that can immediately identify individual cars and retrieve basic information about the owner. Rest assured, MINI owners give their consent to tag their cars with information so no one’s privacy is being unwillingly violated. There are still other concerns associated with this type of advertising including the potential for drivers to become distracted and cause accidents.
While the campaign certainly earns my respect for innovation and creativity, the “Orwellian” quality of the ads might turn some people off the brand. A less subversive way to demonstrate customer appreciation might be sending mini-owners personalized holiday gifts.