Uh-Oh, It’s a Lifestyle

The folks at Mini, apparently in an attempt to make me feel like the sum I dropped for our new car has opened up new and aspirational lifestyle vistas for me and my family, sent us the small pile of Mini-related swag you see here. It includes a Mini bag, a blank journal to record all my travel, a pen, a card holder, a Mini-centered lifestyle magazine, and a happy face antenna ball.

It’s all very cute and the pen is actually useful (the antenna ball, alas, does not actually fit onto the antenna), but it doesn’t really convince me to descend any further into the Mini lifestyle. I mean, I do already like my car an embarrassing amount. But there’s only so many hours in the day, no matter how many nice, nubbly pens Mini tosses my way. I’m already well sunk into the writing geek lifestyle. I don’t want to have to change my wardrobe.

24 Comments on “Uh-Oh, It’s a Lifestyle”

  1. Lets hope they don’t go the way of another company that started pushing the whole “Lifestyle” thing. I will never buy another motorcycle from a t-shirt company again.

  2. The swag is so that you ever so slightly better about your purchase, and therefore will be 0.333% more likely to get a mini again next time.

    You get a similar treatment from Volkswagen.

  3. @EternalDensity

    Actually… Charity drive time, how much do we need to raise to see Mister Scalzi in drag wearing a MINI-skirt?

  4. Maybe I’m too cynical (I’ve also never bought a car before, so I fully agree I’m woefully ignorant about such things), but the immediate thought that occurred to me when I read this post was “Perhaps they’re sending him this stuff because he’s A Famous Sci-Fi Author, and if hubby bought the same car he wouldn’t get anything except a four year commitment.”

  5. I purchased an ’07 MINI new and received a similar load of loot a few months after delivery and I’m nobody! They do like to entice customers into the whole MINI lifestyle. Great cars, but the marketing department just doesn’t know when to take it down a notch!

  6. The antenna ball does not fit the antenna????? Someone in corporate was not paying attention.

    If you were really bored, the Nikon D5100 comes standard with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lense. try setting up the same shot with the lens at F3.5 and see if you can get the stuff on the table in focus and the stuff behind it blurry. This depth of field calculator says you ought to be able to get a depth of field of half a meter that’s in focus, if you’re half a meter from the subject. If you can find a spot where you can put the camera maybe two feet from the table and have the wall be at least 6 feet behind it, you might get some depth of field effect going on.

    maybe. assuming I ran all the numbers correctly.

    DSLR envy… We loves the precious…..

  7. Somewhere, a behavioral database has just gotten a lot more confident about what to advertise to you. The hadoop clusters are humming and the Bayes are being naive…

  8. ah shit, the 5100 has an apc-s sensor. Numbers are a litle off, but it still looks possible. might need a bigger room. bummer. calculator.

  9. Ah, that’s nice. When I bought my F-150, Ford made me feel like a valued customer by NOT honoring the warranty when my doors broke. Maybe I should have gotten a Mini instead.

  10. @Greg, John could probably do the effect you are mentioning in photoshop, probably copy the layer, mask the items on the tabletop, then blur the background. We should probably ask if Adobe has sent him any swag for being such a good photoshopper.

  11. I think a Mini contest is in order. The prize being the antenna ball or perhaps the whole mini?

  12. When I saw the subject line it made me think of “You Sold the Cottage” by Martha and the Muffins; hunt down the song and you’ll see why.

    As for the swag collection it could be worse; you could be invited to a Mini gathering to be guest of honor and arrive to find a huge wicker representation of a Mini Cooper.

  13. John, have you ever written a car review for a magazine? I’m sure your take on it would be different from some gearhead reviewer’s orgasmic raving about axle ratios and 0-60 times..

    Dan Neil wrote a great review of the Cooper Mini a few years ago, I enjoy his work.

    While most cars are simply tools to get get one from A to B, the car you drive IS a lifestyle choice for many other Mini owners.

    Horsepower is a universal language, I sat in a parking lot in Bahrain one night with some Emirati racers who were getting ready for a desert rally, sharing a few words, and laughing when one guy busted his knuckles while wrenching on the engine.

    I’d find a way to make that antenna ball fit, or haing it from the rearview mirror.

  14. Too bad you missed the earlier Mini packages. My first one actually included a template that you could place over the board for various switches that control the locks, lights, etc. turning them into “spy” oriented items like an oil slick, smoke screen, and other things I can’t remember. It came in a hollow book that looks very real – a great place to hide stuff as long as your thief is not a Mini owner! Eventually, I got tired of trying to remember which switch was lights or locks, so I took it off. For awhile though, it appealed to my sense of silly. Mini really tried to make Mini ownership feel like a club – I think designed to make us aging children feel like we were recapturing our youth. It probably worked, given the number of gray hairs I see driving them.

  15. Saturn used to do a lot of the same stuff. We’ve had three in my household, and loved them, but sometimes felt the Saturn people were stalking us. We were relieved when we went to one of the “Saturn homecomings” and it was a pretty normal event. We’d feared it would be like that STAR TREK episode where people would greet us, “Hello…friend. Are you…of the body?”

    A small thing, but they were very efficient in giving us a slip of paper that told us precisely where we’d park. Otherwise you’d get off the shuttle bus and say to yourself as you would anywhere else, “I’ll just look for my Saturn.” There, of course, ALL the cars were Saturns.

  16. sorry all I could hear once you mentioned “mini lifestyle” was this:

    And it was to this planet that unattended Biros made their way, slipping quietly through wormholes in Space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely Biroid lifestyle, responding to highly Biro-oriented stimuli, and generally leading the Biro equivalent of the good life.

    If your car ever disappears you can assume it has returned home.

  17. Don’t get too paranoid – all Mini owners experience this! You certainly don’t have to fully embrace the Mini lifestyle, but it can be a hell of a lot of fun going to the Mini rallys. I just did one a couple of months ago where I took my ’05 convertible up Mt. Washington with about 200 other Minis and we had a blast!

  18. Yep, all MINI owners get a care package. Mine included a coffee cup that actually fit the cupholders, with a note saying, “We’re sure you’ve noticed by now that nothing else fits.” Also got a travel journal, pen, stickers, and some brilliant cards to show to other drivers, with messages like, “Hey sexy,” “Get off the cel phone,” “Nice smile,” etc. Because hey, when you’re stuck on LA’s freeways, you might as well have some fun, right?

  19. Scion owners get a little of this love, but since we’re cheapskates, it’s not much more than a cup holder pocket change organizer. But Toyota/Scion really want people buying into the Scion “Life” as well.