SBD/February 21, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

NASCAR Rolling Out New Ad Campaign, With One Spot Highlighting Driver Athleticism

NASCAR and Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., "will try to challenge the stubborn image of drivers as beer-guzzling good ol' boys as part of a new brand campaign breaking" during Fox' broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. NASCAR VP/Marketing Kim Brink said that Ogilvy's three new spots "are designed to work together to promote" the '14 NASCAR season. One 30-second spot, "Machine," "shows off the athleticism" of drivers Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne. The three are shown "pumping iron, riding bikes, jumping rope and kickboxing," and "interspersed with the shots of the trio's grueling fitness regimens are glamor shots of their respective race cars being prepped for the track." The ad asks, "Which is the machine?" An aspirational 60-second spot "will focus on how kids see drivers such as Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart as 'heroes.'" Another 60-second ad, "Change," will "highlight the evolution of the sport from its bootlegging beginnings to billion-dollar present." The spot will "feature clips of legendary drivers" such as the late Dale Earnhardt, "as well as a clip of the famous Cale Yarborough vs. Donnie Allison brawl" at the '79 Daytona 500. This will be Ogilvy's "second big campaign" for NASCAR, and it "will not have a tagline." Instead, all the spots will "direct viewers to Nascar.com at the end." NASCAR and Ogilvy "debated whether or not to use a tagline for the season launch work." Brink said that they were "concerned they'd need multiple taglines to go with their other sub-campaigns launching later this season" (ADAGE.com, 2/20).

NEW & IMPROVED
: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Bill King notes five NASCAR sponsors are "scheduled to debut a combined six new commercial spots during Sunday’s Daytona 500 telecast on Fox, doubling the number unveiled during last year’s season-opening Sprint Cup race." Ford, Chevy, Goodyear, Coca-Cola and Nationwide Insurance "all will break new, racing-themed creative." NASCAR VP/Partnership Marketing Norris Scott said, "Partners are using our Super Bowl to unveil new creative. That reinforces the Daytona 500 as a place big brands come to launch campaigns." The ads from Chevy and Coke "will build on campaigns that the sponsors ran last year." Meanwhile, Ganassi Racing sponsor Unilever "will roll out a new spot" for its Axe "Peace" body spray that features rookie driver Kyle Larson. Richard Childress Racing sponsor General Mills also "will break its first new NASCAR themed spot in four years when it rolls out a Cheerios commercial featuring the latest driver of the iconic No. 3 car, Austin Dillon" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/17 issue).

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES: USA TODAY's Nate Ryan writes Patrick's latest GoDaddy ad campaign "represents a new direction in how sponsors will be marketing her in the future -- with a de-emphasis on the cheesecake appeal that has been the hallmark of her previous ads with GoDaddy." Patrick said, "It's like we've gone to a mature content phase. As opposed to high heels, it's business jackets." In GoDaddy's "The Big Leap" campaign, Patrick "drives five prospective business owners around Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Chevrolet Camaro, and each makes their pitch for winning a grant from GoDaddy to support their idea." It is a "significant departure for Patrick, who has starred in 13 commercials for GoDaddy" since '07. The subject matter of past ads "often was racy and suggestive with scantily clad models" (USA TODAY, 2/21).
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