Ad Nut
May 4, 2021

Road hazards apply the brakes for you in Mini campaign

Colenso BBDO created a clever set of still-image ads to explain Mini's automatic emergency braking technology. Only one problem.

Road hazards apply the brakes for you in Mini campaign

Here's a concise and clear social/print/OOH campaign by Colenso BBDO, which quickly explains the emergency-braking tech in automobiles made by BMW's Mini brand.

'Danger brakes for you', says the sell line, and we see the hoof of a deer, the paw of a dog, a child's shoe and a snazzy purple suede roller skate, all pressing the brake pedal—so you don't have to.

Good stuff. Like all the best visual ads, you see it, you get it right away.

Only one problem.

Did no one think of squirrels?

No, no one did.

As usual.

Ad Nut is used to humans and their inexplicable infatuation with murderous beasts, and Ad Nut can understand the need for cars that try not to run over humans. Likewise, colliding with deer is to be avoided; they are not only valued woodland neighbours of Ad Nut but also large creatures with lots of pointy bits that can seriously damage a vehicle and even its occupants.

But what of Ad Nut's ilk? Were squirrel paws not photogenic enough for this campaign? More importantly, do emergency braking systems even work for woodland creatures of Ad Nut's size? Did the designers of such systems bother thinking of squirrelkind, or are Ad Nut's family members not even worthy of the momentary inconvenience of engaging one's brakes? 

Ad Nut admits that some squirrels use approaching cars for sport, like the fellows in this Geico commercial (a member of Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame). Ad Nut has never taken part in that sort of dangerous silliness. But nonetheless, do squirrels who run out in front of cars—either accidentally or as some kind of insane test of bravery and agility—deserve to die? Are they creatures whose lives mean something, or are they nothing more than roadkill to you self-righteous two-leggers? 

Ad Nut is pretty sure what the answers to all of the above questions are, and has half a mind to instigate an uprising! You have no idea what squirrelkind is capable of!


Ahem. Sorry, Ad Nut let emotion carry Ad Nut significantly beyond the task of assessing this campaign, which, Ad Nut repeats, is very good. Ad Nut regrets certain statements made above. Ad Nut loves humans and hopes that if you are fans of Ad Nut at all, you will at least try not to flatten squirrels like pancakes on the roads—even if your car doesn't hit the brakes for you.


Client: Alex McLean, Head of Marketing
Client: Victoria Abbass, Retail and Network Marketing Manager
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Photographer: Mat Baker

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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