SBD/February 18, 2011/NASCAR Season Preview

M&M's Breaking First NASCAR-Specific Ad During Daytona 500 Coverage

The Daytona 500 is often compared to the Super Bowl for NASCAR sponsors, as the racing circuit’s partners use the event to debut new ad campaigns. M&M's Sunday will debut its first dedicated NASCAR spot since the company got involved in the sport in '90. The commercial, filmed at Atlanta Motor Speedway at the close of last season, features red and yellow M&M characters starring alongside Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota. The spot will introduce M&M’s new NASCAR advertising theme for '11: “M&M’S Makes Race Day More Fun.” M&M's is not alone, though, as several other sponsors plan on breaking new creative during the Great American Race.

GOODYEAR: Goodyear will debut two 30-second spots as part of its “More Driven” campaign. The spots, via GSD&M Idea City, Austin, are titled “Experts” and “Proving Ground.” This year’s campaign will focus on drivers who choose Goodyear for its performance. “The new campaign leverages the fact that experts use our tires when they matter most and they chose them because they perform well in those situations,” said Goodyear North America Brand Marketing Dir Garth Ely. In addition to its TV ads, Goodyear's campaign will include print, digital and radio components. Additional spots titled “Action Hero” and “Weather Reporter” are expected to debut later in the season.



TOYOTA: The automaker will continue its “SponsaFier” campaign, now in its second year, with two 60-second spots. A website launched Monday to tease the ads that will debut Sunday. The campaign features a mix of social media involvement with fans who will vote on cars in this year’s spot. Toyota said its ad spend is up this year, and the company is breaking two ads compared to just one in previous years. Toyota Motorsports Marketing Corporate Manager Ed Laukes: “We think the value of launching this campaign at Daytona, because it is the Super Bowl of motorsports, is a very valuable platform for us.”

AARON'S
: The furniture store will debut its latest installment that plays off its ongoing campaign featuring Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann’s rivalry over which driver is the company’s spokesperson. One spot, entitled “Reutti’s Revenge,” features Reutimann dreaming he is the company spokesperson, only to wake up and find Waltrip is still the face of the company. The other spot, named “Reutti’s Mistaken,” features the daughters of both Waltrip and Reutimann, as well as Aaron’s COO Ken Butler. The scripts were a collaborative effort between Waltrip and Aaron’s Dir of Strategy & Creative Development David Wolff. The new spots, which were both produced in-house, will run nationally throughout ’11-12 as part of Aaron’s overall TV campaign.

NATIONWIDE: Nationwide will debut a new spot during ESPN2's coverage of the Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday. The ad features Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick touting Nationwide's Vanishing Deductible product in the drivers' first ad together for the company. Nationwide Strategic Sponsorships Dir Jim McCoy said, “We thought that dynamic of two of the biggest names in motorsports together would be powerful.”

SPRINT: Sprint, the title sponsor of NASCAR's Cup series, will tout its NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile app through its campaign “Fuel Your Fan with Sprint.” In a spot titled “Princess Party,” a dad checks in on a race while grabbing some ice during his daughter's birthday party. Sprint Sports Marketing Dir Tim Considine said that since the app debuted in ’08 as a free feature for all Sprint phone users, usage has doubled every year.

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