When media theorist Marshall McLuhan famously said that “the medium is the message,” he wasn’t referring to The Sphere in Las Vegas, but it would have fit perfectly into his philosophy.
For example, there’s this: to introduce its advertising campaign for the new 2025 Countryman Electric model, the folks at Mini will employ the 366-foot-tall and 516-foot-wide out-of-this-world Sphere to debut creative images and videos “revealing” the new vehicle.
“We wanted to think of this campaign as an art piece, not as an ad,” said Rob Lambrechts, Chief Creative Officer at Pereira O’Dell, Mini’s ad agency on the project. “People are coming to Sphere to have fun and be entertained, so we needed to integrate MINI in the least intrusive way possible.”
Least intrusive? McLuhan might’ve asked whether the idea would draw more attention to the medium or would it amplify the intended message. At any rate, the car rendered on the Sphere is pretty nifty.
In Vegas, a town not lacking in spectacular landmarks, the free-standing Sphere has dominated the visual landscape since it opened in September. The structure was funded in part by James Dolan, who oversees a family empire that includes Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, the Knicks and the Rangers. Dolan’s over-the-top investment, with its 700,000 square feet of programmable video screens, cost $2.3 billion to build.
As for the new Countryman, the all-electric SUV will start at $46,195, including destination of $995, when it goes on sale. Output is rated at 313 horsepower and 363 pound-feet of torque. Range on a single charge is estimated at 245 miles, and the 0-60 time is 5.6 seconds. It can be reserved now. The Countryman S All4 and JCW are expected to begin reaching dealers in the spring with the electric versions coming a few months later.
Mini’s takeover of Sphere will run until December 2, with a special four-hour takeover on December 1.
McLuhan, to finish the thought, believed that people should observe not only the media itself but “the ways in which each new medium disrupts tradition and reshapes social life.” Viva Las Vegas.