SBJ/Feb. 17-23, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sponsors rolling out new spots for Daytona

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.

Automotive endemics Ford, Chevy and Goodyear, along with Coca-Cola and Nationwide Insurance, all will break new, racing-themed creative.

“It’s a great barometer of how things are going in our sport,” said Norris Scott, vice president of partnership marketing at NASCAR. “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.
Chevy continues its “Man and Machine” theme with a spot that features defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR sponsor Coca-Cola and Ganassi Racing sponsor Unilever (below) will be among the brands with new ads for Daytona.
The Coke spot reprises the Coca-Cola Racing Family campaign of a year ago, which featured six drivers — including Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Joey Logano — crammed into a minivan, passing the time on what seemed to be an endless trip around the track. When Stewart and Logano came to blows after a race during the season, Coke added a spot that poked fun at the incident. The brand ended up running three different spots last season.

This week, it will debut a fourth.

“For a company like Coke to update the creative during the season, that’s a really big deal,” Scott said. “Their metrics went through the roof after they did it, so now they’re doing it again.”

In the other spots:

n Ford, which last year executed a 30-minute time buy to promote its Ford Fusion on race day, will roll out a new spot for its F-150 truck featuring driver Brad Keselowski.

n Goodyear has a 60-second spot exploring the science of tires that features Kevin Harvick.

n Nationwide will unveil a pair of new commercials.

There also will be at least two team sponsors debuting spots this week.

Ganassi Racing sponsor Unilever will roll out a new spot in the critically acclaimed campaign for its Axe Peace brand body spray, which launched during the Super Bowl. This spot features Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Larson banging doors with another driver as they battle for the lead, until Larson’s girlfriend catches his eye from the infield. Larson then spins his car in a series of doughnuts that spells out her name — Lucy — stopping just short of the finish line.

As in the Super Bowl spot, the tag line “Make Love Not War” provides a twist on the usual “smell good, be cool, get girl” Axe mantra.

Larson, who will be in the Target-sponsored No. 42 car formerly driven by Juan Pablo Montoya in the 500, will drive an Axe-sponsored ride in the Nationwide series race on Saturday. Unilever is an associate sponsor on his Sprint Cup entry.

Richard Childress Racing sponsor General Mills 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, and his mother, Tina — who is the daughter of team owner Childress.

The spot, which will break in the days leading up to the race, goes along with a large retail program that Cheerios will run this year in about 2,000 Kroger stores, which includes boxes that feature a No. 3 shaped Cheerios bowl.

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