SBD/February 19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Driver-Centric NASCAR Campaign Focuses On Online Offerings, Appeal To Hispanics

NASCAR's creative effort with new ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., will launch Sunday and is previewed by Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. NASCAR VP/Marketing Kim Brink said that Ogilvy & Mather has “been developing ‘a new brand direction and a new creative platform’ for NASCAR, which are to include commercials in Spanish and more emphasis on NASCAR’s online offerings." NASCAR drivers will also “contact fans and followers this week in social media like Facebook and Twitter to alert them the effort is coming.” The initial elements include TV commercials that present drivers in “larger-than-life poses,” and the drivers in the spots “deliver brief, emotional comments directly to the camera, often finishing one another’s sentences.” In a spot called “Rivals,” defending Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski says, “In order to finish first ...” The thought is completed by Clint Bowyer, who declares, “ ... somebody’s got to finish second.” Kasey Kahne chimes in, “I hate second.” In a commercial called “We Are,” the drivers offer “pithy phrases that are meant to pique interest” in their personalities. The spot stars Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. A version of “We Are” in Spanish features Juan Pablo Montoya, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Daniel Suarez. There are a total of “43 drivers appearing in the first stages of the campaign.” Ogilvy & Mather Group Creative Dir Terry Finley said that another goal is to “infuse the campaign with ‘authenticity’ … through touches like interspersing archival film amid moments from contemporary races and including in ‘Rivals’ a pair of famous long-ago competitors, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/19). This marks the first creative from Ogilvy & Mather since NASCAR hired the firm in July. Also participating is Ogilvy Rojo, the agency's Hispanic arm (THE DAILY).

FINDING NEW FACES: Finley is featured in this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL as part of a feature on NASCAR’s Faces Of The Future. SBJ’s Tripp Mickle notes NASCAR last year “turned responsibility for its brand image over to” Finley. It wants Ogilvy to “develop a campaign that showcases the sport’s edginess and attracts not only new fans, but young new fans.” Finley said, “I think it got a little corporate. This is an edgy-authentic-crazy-heroes-from-an-outlaw brand. You have to serve that back with a younger lens.” He added, “It’s not Justin Bieber or video games. It’s in the millennial sweet spot. Good times. Crazy, exciting fun. It is going to be really amazing stuff” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/18 issue).
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