They still remind me of little clown cars

Have you seen the booklets that pretend to be reports about a British engineer who makes robots out of Mini Cooper car parts? A friend gave me one yesterday, and coincidentally today the the fictional engineer’s project site
the fictional engineer’s other site
the fictional reporter’s site
the fictional publisher’s site
a site listing “sightings” of the robots

Several thoughts:

1) I can’t believe that anyone would believe, even for a second, that this stuff is real. No one is that gullible. I remember when The Blair Witch Project first came out, someone at work showing me the site and all of us talking about whether it might be true, and yet this has none of that vibe for me. Perhaps it’s because I noticed the Mini Cooper references in the booklet early on, and knowing what that product’s marketing has been like in the past I could see that it had to be part of an unusual marketing campaign. Or perhaps it’s because giant, walking robots made of car parts are just basically too improbable and silly. In either case, I’m pretty sure that the ad company is inventing not only the robot story, but also the stories of the people who are not sure whether it’s advertising.

2) I think it’s kind of a lame campaign. How do pretend giant robots increase the appeal of little, overengineered cars? But maybe I don’t get it because it’s not aimed at me. Apparently the goal is to improve the Mini Cooper’s image among men ages 18-34. I think it’s going to turn women off — but maybe BMW has decided that’s OK, that they need to aim the car at a different market than what it has served so far.

(NYT article link via AdRants.)