MINI has thrown down the 3D gauntlet, and set a new benchmark for international advertising. In a world-first use of 3D slow motion technology, pioneered by MIT scientists, the two-minute film entitled MINI vs Monster, is a high-performance, visual feast that will grip audiences when it opens in US cinemas in January before a global rollout.
The film sees MINI doing battle with a mighty monster truck in its latest cinema, TV and internet blockbuster, which will leave audiences hanging on the edge of their seats wondering whether a mighty beast can jump 15.52 meters of the MINI family.
The two-minute epic is the latest edition of the MINI Family strategy and was devised by Amsterdam-based, BSUR.
Set at night in a floodlit Las Vegas stadium, a sell-out crowd of rowdy monster truck fans is silenced when it takes to the air. In sensational 3D slow motion detail, the crowd rises to its feet - their jaws, hotdogs and beverages dropping to the floor - as the truck tyres skim tantalisingly close to the roofs of the four-strong line-up of: MINI Cooper Convertible, MINI Cooper Clubman, MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Countryman.
As the truck hurtles through the air and the crowd cheer, it's not clear whether the flame-emblazoned four-wheel cannonball will complete its trajectory. Frame-by-3D-frame we see the truck take off, leaving the crowd looking-on in horror or joyous anticipation as the day-glo orange and blue rocket makes its leap of faith amid an explosive barrage of pyrotechnics and a rock opera soundtrack.
Slow motion close-ups of the driver and crowds' faces add to the suspense and drama, leaving viewers wondering whether the MINIs are crushed or the truck completes the jump.
The film was directed by Robert Jitzmark, who employed a crew of 120, including six 3D technologists and scientists who were on hand to calculate the truck's chances, and film with a 21st century 3D rig. The set required 30,000 cubic yards of sand to be imported and the entire shoot from preparation to jump took six days to complete. A mix of stadium lights and special helium-filled balloon lights helped enrich the 3D quality.
BSUR's executive creative director, Jason Schragger, was at the jump and explained the inspiration behind the story. "MINI is a pioneer of automotive design and driver experience. Digital 3D is so new that we worked with all the best people we could find to ensure MINI vs. Monster delivers an exciting and immersive experience.
3D technology makes you really feel like you are in the crowd and are part of the jump. When you see the monster truck flying, you see every detail, it's better than being in the stands and you can't help but gasp when the truck lifts off and skims the MINI Coopers. 3D is immersive and puts viewers at the heart of the action. It's the future of screen advertising."
Online seeding, PR, Facebook and search engine marketing all support the campaign. Social media PR agency, Renegade Media, has created a Facebook and blogger outreach campaign, to engage fans around the launch.
Whether the monster truck made the jump or not is the starting point for Renegade's digital activation. A Facebook takeover from 12 to 14 January will see characters from the film star in an online soap opera. Each day MINI will invite each of the film's main characters - including the driver, veteran trucker and stunt man Russell Steeley - onto the MINI Facebook page as a guest moderator, unveiling a 10-second teaser video staring the character, who will interact with fans and spark conversations about the jump.
MINI vs Monster will air in 90, 60, 30 and 20-second 2D formats, which are supported by a raft of assets, including a 'making of' film, trailers, teasers, and interviews with the cast and crew.
While TV technology can't yet deliver the same 3D experience, a high-definition 2D version of the film will rollout globally on and offline - in the US, Germany and Italy.