Boy meets girl. Boy parks with girl in the woods. Girl begins to undress.
That's not the plot for a racy movie. It's the theme of a viral video BMW Financial Services produced to promote aftermarket insurance products to potential Mini USA customers.
The commercial, launched in October, also represents the first time that BMW Financial has used viral video to promote its finance and insurance products.
So far the medium has been effective: By late November, the video surpassed 200,000 viewings, according to BMW Financial, quadrupling the company's goal of 50,000. The video can be found on MINIUSAnews.com and several other Web sites, including youtube.com and metacafe.com.
BMW Financial wants to grab prospects' attention and get them interested in vehicle service contracts, tire-and-wheel coverage and guaranteed automotive protection, or GAP, insurance.
The products are new for Mini customers.
Asking customers to buy an extended service plan can be as appealing as inviting them to complete a tax return.
"F&I in general is a dry topic," says Dan DeChristopher, vice president of sales, marketing and insurance for BMW Financial Services.
"Instead of asking customers if they'd like to buy a service contract, we'd like to start the conversation in a positive and fun way."
The company gave Mini dealerships a copy of the video so that F&I managers can ask customers whether they've seen the video online and offer to show it to prospects in the F&I office.
The video features a couple -- a nerdy guy and a sultry redhead -- driving to a secluded wooded area in a Mini Cooper.
Soon after the couple begin their romantic interlude, they're interrupted by actor Tony Sirico, who starred as gangster Paulie Walnuts in the "The Sopranos" series on HBO.
The gangster figure suddenly appears within a few feet of the car's passenger side with a "How're you doing, sweetheart?"
"You said to bring protection," the nerd tries to explain to his infuriated date.
"Go back to business," Sirico assures them with a broad smile. "I've got your back."
The scene fades on the frustrated couple, and the video advises viewers: "Get the right protection. Mini Extended Motorer Protection."
DeChristopher says the "playful, cheeky" video appeals to Mini prospects.
"It fits the brand and the customer," he says.
He declined to disclose the cost of producing the video, saying only that it had to be economical because of a meager media budget.
BMW Financial will develop a more conservative viral video aimed at promoting F&I products to BMW customers later this year.
DeChristopher says the typical Mini customer is slightly younger than a BMW customer and more urban. They tend to be more artistic and athletic -- skiers, rather than golfers.
Says DeChristopher: "They're what we call post-modern trendsetters."