Rapper-turned-singer Faheem “T-Pain” Najm became a solo artist a decade ago and along his journey to becoming a go-to producer for artists like Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks, Usher, Ciara, Jennifer Hudson and more, he was teased and taunted by detractors, including being called “auto-tuned.” He’s best known for his hits “Blame It” (with Jamie Foxx) and “Buy U a Drank,” the Grammy-winner from Tallahassee, Fla., is a car aficionado and customizer. In his collection is a red and back 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman, his second from the automaker, among others – at one point up to 32.
In an interview with Forbes, T-Pain said his MINI was of his two favorite cars. He even titled one his singles, “MINI,” and featured it in his video.
MINIs, once considered small cars that reminded you of a go kart, comes with big personalities and are conversation pieces.
“Ever since the first Mini was built in 1959, it has been labeled as one thing or another. It’s small. It’s cute,” said Tom Noble, department head, MINI Brand Communications. “This campaign acknowledges those labels in a very authentic way while simultaneously showing people MINI is more than that. With the launch of the new Clubman, our brand is growing up, our products are more sophisticated, and its time to reset the conversation.”
The brand worked with an ensemble cast of athletes and celebrities to help start that conversation. Staying true to the nature of the campaign, MINI wanted to include personalities that had a relationship to the brand and could also speak authentically about the topic of overcoming labels. The spot includesT-Pain and will air during the third quarter of Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016. Also features are Serena Williams, Abby Wambach, Randy Johnson, Tony Hawk, and Harvey Keitel.
Each also filmed a series of long-form interviews sharing their own perspectives about labels that are available on the campaign microsite at MINIUSA.com/defylabels.