Motorcycle Grand Prix ad campaign switches focus to ‘risk-taking’ nature of sport

Marketers have turned the spotlight on the energy and high risk nature of professional motorcycling as they prepare to launch a six week promotional blitz ahead of next month’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The focus is a departure from last year when the Australian Grand Prix Corporation promoted the personalities of the sport. This year, the TV, print, digital and outdoor campaign will showcase the speed and excitement of the sport in a bid to attract fans to Phillip Island over the weekend of October 17 to 19.

TV ads kick off on Network Ten and SBS in Sydney and regional New South Wales this weekend with Melbourne and regional Victoria following on September 21. AJF Partnership, which has worked with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation for four years, created the campaign.

Advertising will also appear on the back of utes and taken to events and locations such as Black Spur in Victoria which is popular with motorcyclists.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation group marketing manager Misha Horsnell said while the media spend is similar to last year “the campaign energy has been ramped up”.

“We are really trying to promote the exciting side of the Motorcycle Grand Prix, to show them as key risk takers,” she said. “We have stepped up the energy and excitement. In previous years we have tried to promote the personalities but we are going back to telling people that this is the sport that has to be seen to be believed.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 8.07.09 AM“The campaign line is defy the rules of nature and that is what they do. The energy of what you see at the event will have you on the edge of your seat and that’s what we are trying to show through the campaign.”

The crusade will target city-living professional males which will be reflected in the media spend, 80 per cent of which will be in metro areas.

“Having a motorcycle is quite an expensive hobby so we have quite a high skew of affluent professional males at our event,” Horsnell said.

Next year the V8 Supercars rights move to Network Ten and Foxtel, meaning ten will only show a limited number of races live with delayed highlights for others. Asked whether the Grand Prix could look to exploit the limited free-to-air coverageHorsnell said: “My mandate is to get as many people to come to Phillip Island as possible, and absolutely we will compete with any sport to show these guys as the athletes who defy the rules of nature.”

Meanwhile, production is already taking place for the 2015 Formula One Grand Prix campaign, with an initial round of TV and digital executions launching later this month to drive early bookings. A fully integrated campaign will run next February ahead of the event in March.

Steve Jones


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