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Formula 1 Finds a New Way to Advertise on Its Cars – UnlistedNews

When McLaren was approached with a way to display digital advertising on race cars, team officials worried it was just a gimmick.

Brand logos are already on the cars, but this new method allows teams to display additional advertisements because they appear on panels mounted to the side of the cockpit and are visible to viewers at home due to the TV camera installed behind the car. driver. The screen changes and shows a variety of advertising messages over the course of a Grand Prix weekend.

After seeing the technology in action for the first time, Louise McEwenMcLaren Racing’s executive director of brand and marketing, said she was “impressed”.

“I had to use quite a bit of imagination, because it was in its infancy,” he said in an interview.

“But what emerged was not just the opportunity that was a complete novelty, but as a brand, it was something that would underscore our desire to drive innovation on the web. It’s in our DNA, that founding influence of Bruce McLaren.”

The company behind the technology is digital seamlessbased near Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix.

After introducing the technology at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas during practice last year, McLaren now uses the system for entire Grand Prix weekends. Seamless said four more Formula 1 teams would use it this season, although the company did not identify them.

Mark Turner, the founder and CEO, said he “set out to try to create a system that was enduring and authentic.”

“What we didn’t want was something just for the sake of being there,” he said in an interview. “It really is about performance, and that was our mindset from start to finish. It cannot be detrimental to aerodynamics or weight.”

The initial system weighed 350 grams, too heavy for a sport where extra weight affects performance.

A “no go,” said McEwen. “Mark knew it was a challenge, but he worked hand-in-hand with our aero team and ultimately we got the weight down to a point where we were good.”

Now it weighs 190 grams and is 800 microns, eight point eight of a millimeter thick. “We use electronic paper material, like the outer shell of a Kindle, combined with TFT [thin-film transistor] support to make it flexible,” Turner said. “It allows us to tailor it to the aerodynamic surface.

“We’re still trying to get the weight down because we want the smallest, lightest system possible that provides the best value to teams.”

Despite the system’s initial success in Texas, McLaren was still wary.

“By incorporating a piece of technology like this, there was a risk that it would be seen as a gimmick and a distraction to the driver,” McEwen said.

Advertising messages can be programmed into the system and are visible to television audiences. Most of the people in the stands can’t see the ads.

“Keeping it on the driver’s side means it’s picked up by onboard cameras, so that was a key thing,” McEwen said.

“Last year we signed with Google,” he said, the only brand to use McLaren’s new system. “It’s a perfect match, with advertising alternating between its Chrome and Android brands.”

Neither Seamless nor McLaren said how much brands would be charged to use the system, although Google was not paying extra due to a pre-existing contract with McLaren.

Turner said Seamless would work with a team to determine which sponsor would show up at any given time.

“Right now what we’re driving is situational relevance,” he said, where “you can have a specific message for a specific state that the car is in, whether you’re making a pit stop or behind the race car. security”.

The company hopes to expand the use of the technology, for example by adding the panels to golf bags. “Helmets are the next milestone we’re tackling,” Turner said. “You think about all the different motorsports series, but you also think about the NFL”

For now, Formula 1 is the main focus. “We want to make sure that by using our system,” he said, “a team can generate money and put it into car development.”

Sara Marcus
Sara Marcus
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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