Corporate Eye

Mini Cooper Introduces the 21st Century Mood Ring

mini_cooperIt’s hard to believe that it has been about 40 years since the mood ring was invented and became the “cool” product that everyone had to have.  If you thought mood rings would never make a sweeping come back, you’re right (although there have been attempts).  However, that doesn’t mean the color morphing concept died with the mood ring. 

This month, Mini announced its first foray into creating a car that changes color based on ambient temperatures — the Mini Chameleon.

The heat sensitive paint used on the Mini Chameleon comes from a company in Spain, Payola Forids.  According to an article on, the changing paint color isn’t just a cool feature.  It actually serves a purpose.  For example, if it’s raining, the color of the Mini Chameleon will get brighter in order to improve visibility and safety.  On sunny days, the color will get lighter to reflect heat and keep the interior of the car cooler. 

Truth be told, this sounds like just the buzz that Mini needs to regain some relevancy.  Will it boost sales exponentially?  Probably not (at least from a U.S. consumer perspective — most Americans still can’t give up their “I hate the environment,” gas-guzzling SUVs), but it certainly will bring some interesting press.  I know I’d like to see one of these cars morphing right in front of my eyes.  However, the Mini Chameleon is only launching in Singapore, so you’ll need to make a trip to Asia to see it.

I also think the Mini Chameleon is a great way to get the word out about Payola Forids new paint, called FeintPaint, which the company also claims to be testing for use on military vehicles.  Sounds very “Predator” to me.  Cool.

All around, it’s just a creative and fun promotion for both brands involved.  What do you think?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Yet one more reason I would like to own a Mini Cooper! I just wish they weren’t so darned expensive. They’re surprisingly roomy on the inside (from curbside, never having been in one), are quite nimble and relatively good on gas. I may just have to test drive one at the dealership near me, just to get it out of my system. I’d like to bring my four-year old son along; he loves these little wonders and I’ll be his hero for a week.

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