Rover is to launch a dedicated global web site to support the
launch of the new Mini in 2000, and is overhauling its current Mini site
to give it a UK focus.
The company has appointed AKQA, which has created other sites for Rover
Group and its owner BMW, to create and manage both Mini web sites. AKQA
won the business after a four-way pitch, which included the incumbent,
The Mini web site was originally designed as a global brand site, and
won a number of major UK awards, including best commercial site at the
Yell UK Web Awards. The loss of the account will be a blow to APL
Mini’s UK web site will go live in February next year and is aimed at
the Mini enthusiast. New features will include a merchandising
directory, which will direct users to the best places to find car
accessories, and a facility that will allow Mini owners to add extra
components to their car online. By allowing customers to design a Mini
to their own specification via the site, Rover believes that the brand
proposition ’Express Yourself’ can be transmitted to potential
The UK site will include a games and entertainment section and a
discussion forum, from which it aims to capture e-mail addresses and
build a database of addresses for future use.
Mini’s global web site, which will focus on the new Mini model currently
codenamed R50, will go live in the first quarter of next year. It will
have links to other Rover sites and will be heavily advertised
The launch of the new Mini and the upgrading of its web presence is part
of the company’s attempt to promote the car as a cool, contemporary
The car’s core values have always been about excitement and
individuality but Rover is concerned that its clear identification with
the swinging 60s might obscure efforts to update the brand.
Rover launched four sites at the beginning of the year. Two sites focus
exclusively on Land Rovers and MGs, the other two provide general
information about Rover cars and corporate information.