BMW's Mini launches iPhone game
2009 - BMW Mini's financial arm has launched
"Mini Liquid Assets," a mobile game available for download at no
charge from the iTunes App store.
"Mini Liquid Assets" is an
interactive game modeled after the traditional encased water jet games, infused
with the Mini brand and intuitive controls that take advantage of the iPhone
and iPod touch user interface. BMW's Mini hopes to increase brand awareness
among Apple's coveted demographic using the application.
"We want to make financing fun, and
with Mini, it's only natural to capture the brand spirit and bring it alive in
a game format," said Tom Stepanchak, general manager of marketing for Mini
Financial Services, Woodcliff Lake, NJ. "The iPhone app is actually an
extension of a mechanical water game point-of-sale desk exhibit we created for
our dealers last year.
"Consumers can play the modern version
on their iPhones with realistic water-like movements and authentic sound
effects, and the original mechanical version at Mini dealerships," he
said. "Our underling goal is to engage consumers in conversation and enlighten
them to the many financing choices we offer.
"We want to create awareness for the Mini
Financial Services value proposition."
Manipulating the face buttons on
either side of the screen, players use streams of water-accompanied by bubble
sound effects and music-to avoid obstacles and guide their precious coins into
the safety and comfort of their beloved Minis.
Whether avoiding sharks in the fish
tank-themed level "Don't Feed the MINI" or aliens in the Area
51-themed level "Restricted," "Mini Liquid Assets" offers
gaming with three difficulty settings: "Easy," "Medium" and
The game features the full model line of Mini
vehicles, including the new Mini Convertible-featured in the London-themed
level "Cheerio" with actual Big Ben sound effects-and the Mini E,
appearing in the eco-friendly wind farm level of "Green with Mini."
Also included in the game is
"Find a Mini dealer," a built in dealer locator function that uses
"Without a doubt, there is a strong
correlation between Apple enthusiasts and Mini drivers," Mr. Stepanchak said.
"They are cut from the same mold.
"Additionally, with more than 500
million apps downloaded in the past year, we are capitalizing on a major
trend," he said. "Time spent waiting in line can now be entertaining, and who
better than MINI to provide this form of entertainment."
Compatible with any iPhone or iPod
touch with operating system version 2.0, the application was designed by Nickel
Fish Design LLC.
Since 2002, Nickel
Fish Design LLC has been providing design and development for the
Web, applications and mobile devices.
Based in Chester, NJ, this
privately-owned agency has delivered a variety of interactive solutions for
clients such as Mini Financial Services, Wyndham Worldwide, Benjamin Moore, THQ
and Wolters Kluwer.
MINI is an automotive brand that
was produced by the British Motor Corp. until 2000, when it was bought by BMW.
Its flagship vehicle is the Mini Cooper.
BMW Financial Services was established
in the U.S. in 1993 to support the sales and marketing efforts of BMW of North
America. It offers a range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and
banking products tailored to meet the needs of the BMW customer.
"Our branding is there but it's very
subtle", Mr. Stepanchak said. "We don't need to force-feed the audience a
message. Our goal is to create compelling content that will pull in consumers.
"We expect they'll like the game and
spread it virally," he said. "A dealer locator is included, but it's
only for hand-raisers-again, no messages are forced upon users."
"Mini Liquid Assets will be featured
at the new MINI convertible's press events, as well as on YouTube, Facebook and
other social media sites."
By Dan Butcher
Staff Reporter Dan
Butcher covers banking and payments, carrier networks, commerce, database/CRM,
manufacturers, music and software and technology. Reach him at