SBD/April 25, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Richmond Int'l Raceway Ads Target Casual NASCAR Fan, Focus On Track Atmosphere

When Richmond Int'l Raceway awarded Virginia-based Barber Martin its media-buying account last year, agency President Robyn Deyo put together an ad campaign aimed at consumers who are "curious about NASCAR, but not addicted to the sport," according to Randy Hallman of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. The resulting TV spots, which "recently have been running in Virginia and neighboring states, are mood pieces." The promos "don’t follow the standard formula for NASCAR ads," as they "aren’t about cars flashing and crashing." Rather, the ads are "about the people who come to the track." One spot "picks up on the literally thousands of flags that fly around any NASCAR event -- not only the checkered, green and yellow flags used to control the race, but also flags celebrating car numbers, drivers, sponsors, causes, U.S. armed forces and the United States itself." Another spot "juxtaposes haunting images of a child with a toy car and NASCAR race cars moving with a surprising serenity." RIR President Dennis Bickmeier said, "We sat down at a table and brainstormed with them. They understood our goals and objectives, and they’re right there with us. The strategy is to really reinvigorate the RIR brand.” Bickmeier added that RIR "didn’t want loud, frenetic ads, and Barber Martin responded." Bickmeier: "They don’t show a lot of race cars. They show the emotion of people who love racing. They show the patriotism of our fans. They show the shared excitement building up to the race" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 4/25).
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