Yes you read that correctly.
You may think that over the years you’ve seen some great marketing campaigns with F1 at the heart and you would be right. It’s an exciting, vibrant world full of amazing characters and extreme imagery.
But it was always the brands, manufacturers and promoters in F1 who were driving it. You could say that it was genius on Bernie Ecclestone’s part to encourage so much great marketing without spending a dime of F1 Management’s own money on developing it. His contribution was to stoke the fires of controversy in the media, not always with positive reflections on F1. But it kept the overheads low.
But Liberty Media, the new owners of F1, certainly do not feel that and a glance around the landscape of Tier 1 sports globally (F1’s peer group) shows that all of them have a significant marketing department. So one of the first things Liberty did on taking over was set up F1’s first marketing department. This is now headed by Ellie Norman.
Today they launched Engineered Insanity ahead of the new F1 season which kicks off next week. Following through on their mission to put the fans at the heart of the proposition, they have centred this campaign on F1 through the eyes of six superfans.
“We want to create a perceptible shift in how people perceive F1,” said Ellie Norman.
“This campaign switches the focus away from our own echo chamber, instead spotlighting why our fans love this sport. Our brief to Wieden+Kennedy London was to translate its raw, exhilarating thrill into something that will transcend its appeal across the entire spectrum of sports fans.
“Last season, we made a promise to our fans to bring them closer and to reshape the sport into something that resembles what they want to see, the gladiatorial conflict at its heart. Nothing we came up with creatively delivered this better than seeing it through the eyes of our most passionate fans. Across the next year and beyond, we will be creating further fan-centred activations at the races, at fan festivals and across F1 social platforms. Watch this space. We are here to excite.”
F1 is hoping the wider F1 fan community will play their part by amplifying the campaign through a series of GIFs and interactive Insta stories.
It’s fair to say that some of the JA on F1 reader community will be all over this, while others will wonder what all the fuss is about and are unlikely to see any evidence going forward of the success of this campaign and its penetration to new people who might be attracted to the sport as a result.
F1 is visceral and raw – although I have to say that the impression created by a 2018 F1 car with its enormous weight and the bulky new cage over the driver’s head looks markedly less visceral than before – but anyway, F1 is trying to tap into that.
What do you think of the F1 campaign? Leave your comments in the section below