The MINI brand re-established itself globally by building fuel-efficient cars that, coincidentally, were also surprisingly fun to drive. In fact, when it comes to cars powered by their front wheels, we can’t think of any that handle better than MINI’s products.

The brand has innovated over the years, too, taking the basic Cooper hatchback and manipulating its form to build everything from a coupe through a crossover, all preserving the very things that make a MINI a MINI.

In fact, if you’re looking for one-stop shopping in the compact class, your local MINI dealer is a good place to start.

That’s why we’re so baffled at MINI’s recent marketing efforts, which seem to go off the rails. Far, far off the rails in the case of MINI’s “Not Normal” ads, which feature such bizarre stunts as a man in a bear costume, dancing randomly in a MINI showroom.

There’s also one with a knight-in-shining-armor, perched atop a (we’re not kidding) white unicorn. While pointless, these ads are harmless enough that we’re willing to look the other way.

Not so with the brand’s latest gimmick, which involves driving a fleet of MINI models from Munich to a Finnish town near the Arctic Circle, to deliver children’s letters to Santa Claus.

There’s also a Guinness record at stake, for the longest letter to Santa Claus, which presumably will be carried in one of the convoy vehicles.

While MINI’s are, by nature, fuel efficient, we fail to see the point of burning gas on an expedition to nowhere, delivering letters to a mythical being for the sake of PR purposes.

We’re sure that MINI will get the attention its seeking (we’re covering the story here, aren’t we?), but we hope that MINI will rethink future marketing efforts.

Instead of a convoy to nowhere, wouldn’t a convoy from MINI’s home in Woodcliff Lake to the New Jersey shore, in cars stuffed full of relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy, make a bit more sense?


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