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NASCAR Debuts New Ad Campaign for 2004 Season
 
February 14, 2004

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR announced that it will launch a new image advertising campaign – the story of a fantasy race where, through computer wizardry, the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time compete against the stars of today. The first of six TV spots in the new ‘Timeless’ campaign will debut during television coverage of the Daytona 500 on February 15th on NBC. The campaign, developed by The Martin Agency, features archive film and audio of NASCAR heroes of the past blended with images of hard-charging champions of today – all set to Boston’s classic rock ballad ‘Long Time’.

“The new campaign sets out to blend the sights and sounds of the past and present NASCAR,” said Roger VanDerSnick, managing director of brand and consumer marketing for NASCAR in Charlotte, N.C. “This is a time of tremendous growth and positive change for NASCAR. Our goal in the campaign is to affirm our core fans’ loyalty and devotion to NASCAR while creating an emotional appeal that encourages casual fans to learn more about our sport’s great history. We want to remind the world that while our sport is growing and evolving, the thrill of NASCAR is truly timeless.”

Cliff Sorah served as the creative director for the team The Martin Agency assembled to create these commercials.

The six spots, which will be unveiled throughout this season, tell a story of a fantasy race pitting the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time against one another. Drivers such as Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson, Fireball Roberts and Dale Earnhardt Sr. race against current stars including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart.

“We simply took the greatest sights and sounds from NASCAR’s past and present and created six ‘mini time capsules’,” Sorah said.

“When you put the combined footage with a song like Boston’s ‘Long Time’, it begins to feel more like music videos than TV commercials, and we like that,” said Joe Lawson, copywriter on the project.

“From the very beginning, Mathew Wood, our editor, Tom McCullough and Randie Swanberg, the special effects guys, worked with us to view literally hundreds of hours of footage that were edited and merged into these six, 30-second spots,” Sorah said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results of this collaboration. The spots you will see are as close to what I envisioned in my ‘mind’s eye’ as anything I’ve ever worked on.”

This campaign is the first work from The Martin Agency, chosen to develop NASCAR brand work in July of last year. The new campaign will be seen ‘in-race’ on NBC, FOX, TNT and FX and on SPEED Channel.

NASCAR has a fan base of 75 million and growing that enjoy 36 races a year during a 10-month season. Second only to the NFL in TV viewership, NASCAR races also comprise 17 of the 20 largest sporting events in the United States each year.


About The Martin Agency
Headquartered in Richmond, Va., The Martin Agency is a full-service agency offering unified advertising, direct response, public relations and interactive. In addition to NASCAR, clients include ALLTEL, AXA Financial, Chase, Coca-Cola, Dominion, GEICO, Hanes, Olympus, PING, Quiznos, Radisson, Seven Seas, Seiko, Thomasville and UPS.

The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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