Discovery’s Star Racer attracts Mazda, Castrol and Edge Active Care
Brand integration is shifting into high gear for the Discovery Channel's Star Racer as a major marketing campaign kicks off this week to promote the highly-sponsored series premiere on Oct. 24 (10 p.m. ET/PT).
Mazda, Castrol and Edge Active Care have been integrated into every aspect of the production of Star Racer – including television broadcast, broadband and online executions. The marriage makes sense – Star Racer pits two competing teams against each other in a weekly elimination-style search for the fastest driver.
As sponsors, both Mazda and Castrol have team naming rights – presented throughout the series as Team Mazda and Team Castrol. The deals include branding on the racing suits, helmets and race vehicles. Also, each sponsor receives tagged pre-promotion spots and an online branded Team micro site – hosted at StarRacer.ca (also integrated into DiscoveryChannel.ca) – which allows users to pick a team before playing a flash racing game. The ‘Edge Ahead Star Racer Pool,’ sponsored by Edge Active Care, offers a viewer the chance to score points along with the show by predicting who will be this year’s Star Racer.
Weekly and grand prizes will be awarded to the pool point leaders – including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race at the world-renowned Jim Russell Racing School in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec, where Star Racer was shot. The Edge sponsorship also includes branded re-cap segments in each episode, plus branded on-air spots promoting the pool.
A massive consumer marketing campaign designed to drive viewers to the premiere of the series starts today, Monday, Oct. 16. The integrated marketing campaign includes Star Racer outdoor, print, radio on-air and online executions, plus unique taxi ads. CTV’s Creative Services department and On-Air Promotions group developed all creative for the campaign in-house. The print elements feature a red stylized open-wheel racecar with the tag line ‘Survival of the Fastest.’ The creative will appear in transit shelters in Toronto and Vancouver and in ads in major daily newspapers in Toronto (Toronto Star, Toronto Sun) and Vancouver (Vancouver Province).
Online, ads will be running on Google. The high-octane 30-second on-air spot, featuring Paul Tracy and footage from the series, is now in heavy rotation on Discovery Channel, plus high-profile spots on CTV, other CTV specialty channels, and ad avails on U.S. specialty channels. In Toronto, a 30-second spot will also be airing on the LED board at Dundas St. and Yonge St. Radio tags will air in Toronto (on EDGE 102, Q107, AM 640 and 680 NEWS) and Vancouver (CFOX, CFMI and CKNW). In Toronto, Co-Op and Crown cabs will look like the side profile of open-wheel racecars, such as those featured in Star Racer. The effect is achieved by wrapping the sides of the taxi in a decal that mimics the look of the racecar. The red and white vinyl wraps – branded with the Star Racer and Discovery Channel logos, plus the Mazda and Castrol logos (one on each side of the car) – were coordinated by Taxi Art Media (for the Co-Op cabs) and 4front Media (for the Crown taxis).
‘Star Racer was tailor-made for these unique sponsorship opportunities,’ says Discovery Channel VP sales and marketing Sally Basmajian. ‘We worked closely with our clients to integrate their products in a seamless manner that we believe will both benefit their brands and appeal to our Discovery viewers.’
Star Racer will also rev up the new Discovery Broadband Channel available at broadband.discoverychannel.ca. Discovery Broadband will feature full episodes of Star Racer one week after they premiere on Discovery’s broadcast channel and carry exclusive bonus footage only available on broadband. The series was produced by Toronto-based Insight Productions, which helped identify opportunities for integration.