2009 Mini Carfun ad.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 24, 2009.
In an innovative effort to maximize fun while minimizing impact, MINI USA is launching the customizable Carfun Offset Program to MINI owners to engage them in supporting green and fun causes. The program extends the company’s Carfun Footprint campaign, launched last August, which challenged all drivers to “measure how much fun your car is versus how much impact it has on the environment.” Recently, the campaign earned a top ten spot among America’s Favorite Magazine Ads, voted on by consumers, as part of the Magazine Publishers of America’s Kelly Awards for creative excellence in magazine advertising.
The Carfun Offset Program is like a carbon offset program – with a MINI twist. To participate, MINI owners may go to MINIUSA.COM/CarfunFootprint to donate $30 to their choice of one of three green initiatives that support sustainable development and renewable energy, and select one fun project to create their personalized offset programs. Each participant will receive a special Carfun Offset grille badge to display on his or her MINI, and MINI USA will match the donation of each first-time contributor.
The Carfun Offset program, which kicks off on Tuesday with e-mail notifications to MINI owners, support on MINIUSA.COM and collateral materials for dealers, will be administered by Sustainable Travel International (STI), a global leader in attracting financial support for sustainable development projects.
“MINI is already one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road – up to 37 mpg – and certainly is one of the most fun to drive,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President, MINI USA. “The new Carfun Offset Program gives people yet another reason to want to drive a MINI.”
In keeping with MINI’s philosophy of maximizing fun while minimizing impact, the new program underscores these principles inherent to its brand and products from the beginning. The Classic Mini, born out of the post-World War II oil crisis that sent fuel prices soaring in the late-1950’s, struck the perfect balance between fuel efficiency, functionality and fun – an approach that’s just as relevant now as it was then.
Participants in the Carfun Offset Program may designate their contributions to one of the following green program options:
* GS, Gold Standard Carbon Offsets, which supports renewable energy projects in developing countries;
* RECs, Renewable Energy Certificates or Green Tags, commodities that offset greenhouse gas emissions from renewable energy projects in the U.S. and Canada;
* CI, Conservation International’s Conservation Carbon Offsets, which supports reforestation and avoids deforestation.
Then, donors can choose to support one of the following fun program options:
* Bikes Belong Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on children’s bicycle programs and bicycling safety projects, and encourages motorists and cyclists to get along;
* Imagination Playground in a BOX, portable playgrounds (designed by award-winning architect David Rockwell) which instantly transform any space into a place where the imagination can run wild;
* Hole in the Wall Camps, a family of camps started by the late Paul Newman that provides a carefree camp experience to children with serious medical conditions.
At the center of MINI’s Carfun Footprint campaign is an interactive online calculator which enables consumers to input their vehicle makes and models to determine their scores and see how they stack up against nearly 200 other models. Based on third-party data from Strategic Vision Inc., the U.S. Environmental Protection agency and AutoData Corporation, the 37-mpg MINI Cooper tops the rankings of vehicles with its combined green and fun scores. Further the calculator offers green motoring tips to reduce environmental impact regardless of vehicle make or model and introduces the concept of MINIMALISM.
MINIMALISM is MINI’s global philosophy of “doing more with less.” It encompasses equipping MINI cars with innovative engine technologies and other improvements that significantly reduce fuel consumption without compromising fun, and designing and engineering for optimum recyclability.
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