Nascar Case study The Hashtag 500 by OgilvyOne New York

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The Hashtag 500

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Industry Sports Teams & Events
Media Case study
Market United States
Agency OgilvyOne New York
Art Director Hayley Grassetti, Luis Vilches
Copywriter Dan Winikur, Zach Buckner
Producer Sarissa Karnbach
Account Supervisor Brett Harris
Released March 2016


Cannes Lions 2016
Direct Digital & Social: Use of Social Platforms Bronze Lion

Credits & Description

Agency: Ogilvyone New York
Brand: Nascar
Country: USA
Advertising Agency: Ogilvyone New York
Entrant Company: Ogilvyone New York
Media Agency: Ogilvyone New York
Pr Agency: Ogilvyone New York
Production Company: Republic Content, South Pasadena
Group Creative Director: Aaron Mosher (Ogilvy New York)
President: Adam Tucker (Ogilvy New York)
Senior Producer: Akiko Nakashima (Ogilvy New York)
Account Supervisor: Brett Harris (Ogilvy New York)
Svp Of Marketing And Industry Services: Jill Gregory (Nascar)
Devops: Kevin Hamel (Ogilvy New York)
Senior Art Director: Andrew Miller (Ogilvy New York)
Senior Director Of Brand Marketing: David Zane (Nascar)
Art Director: Luis Vilches (Ogilvy New York)
President: Mark Himmelsbach (Ogilvy New York)
Managing Director Of Social Media: Scott Warfield (Nascar)
Director Of Digital And Social Media Engagement: Sean Doherty (Nascar)
Interactive Design And Development: Chris Allen (Ogilvy New York)
Art Director: Hayley Grassetti (Ogilvy New York)
Managing Director Of Brand Marketing: Pete Jung (Nascar)
Executive Group Director: Jen Natuzzi (Ogilvy New York)
Director, Technology Management: Jordan Saletan (Ogilvy New York)
Interactive Design And Development: Michael Cavalea (Ogilvy New York)
Copywriter: Dan Winikur (Ogilvy New York)
Assistant Producer: Danielle Russo (Ogilvy New York)
Executive Director, Digital Technology: Jason Wurtzel (Ogilvy New York)
Group Planning Director: Jennifer Peterson (Ogilvy New York)
Devops: Matt Ahrenstein (Ogilvy New York)
Music Producer: Patrick Oliver (Ogilvy New York)
Senior Producer: Ryan Leonard (Ogilvy New York)
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Steve Simpson (Ogilvy New York)
Chief Creative Officer: Teddy Lynn (Ogilvy New York)
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Tham Khai Meng (Ogilvy New York)
Account Executive: Adair Barber (Ogilvy New York)
Executive Director, Digital Production: Angela Fung (Ogilvy New York)
Executive Producer: Melanie Baublis (Ogilvy New York)
Quality Assurance: Raul Morales (Ogilvy New York)
Social Media Strategists: Eddie Perenyi (Ogilvy New York)
Copywriter: Zach Buckner (Ogilvy New York)
Head Of Content Distribution: Adam Kornblum (Ogilvy New York)
Social Media Strategists: Ben Glidden (Ogilvy New York)
Group Creative Director: David Yankelewitz (Ogilvy New York)
Producer: Sarissa Karnbach (Ogilvy New York)
Group Creative Director: Terry Finley (Ogilvy New York)
Our strategy for more digital engagement from current fans was using social media to let anyone experience the thrills and spoils of racing in The Daytona 500, right along with their favorite drivers. Every fan wants a piece of the 40 star drivers, but unless you’re a rich VIP in a special section at the track, you'll never get close to them. Every fan also loves racing (it's NASCAR, after all). So we turned every dramatic twist on the racetrack into a real-time, high-stakes fan race on Twitter to win a memorable piece of The Daytona 500. It was an unprecedented opportunity for every fan anywhere to participate in the sport they love, on its biggest stage, through any internet device. So for the first time ever, the drivers weren't the only ones racing and winning at Daytona. And VIPs weren't the only ones able to get coveted driver memorabilia.
Campaign Description:
Imagine you’re watching the World Cup final, Messi scores the winning goal, and suddenly the announcer says you can tweet to get that ball. That’s what we did with The Hashtag500, during NASCAR’s biggest race of the season. Like any sport, NASCAR fans love the drivers and value everything they touch. So, from the green starting flag (signed by every driver), to the checkered flag (signed by winner Denny Hamlin), we let fans tweet to win drivers’ real gear in real time. Like a piece of Chase Elliott’s broken car when he crashed in lap 18. Kyle Busch’s tires, when they were replaced in lap 30. And Dale Earnhardt’s firesuit in lap 150. Except we didn’t just give this stuff away, we asked fans to race for it on Twitter by typing long hashtags. So for the first time ever, drivers weren’t the only ones racing at The Daytona 500.
We launched the campaign one week before the big race on the social media accounts of the 6 most famous drivers with the biggest social followings. Every day that week (#SunDaytona, #MonDaytona, #TuesDaytona…), a different driver released a short video launching a “practice” race on Twitter for fans to immediately win something personal of theirs. This familiarized fans with the Twitter race mechanic, and was fan engagement in its own right. Each daily practice race was teased on that driver and NASCAR’s channels, and all the teasers and daily practice races themselves were teasers for The Hashtag 500 that was coming up at The Daytona 500. They also encouraged fans to follow NASCAR on Twitter so they’d be alerted on race day, when The Hashtag 500 races were launched every 20 laps on NASCAR’s Twitter handle and on TV.
For over 50 years, NASCAR has been America’s premier racing league. It has a rich heritage, famous drivers, 23 dedicated tracks across the country, and millions of passionate fans. But interest in the sport has been declining. Some fans are starting to think it’s old-fashioned, and some of them get bored in the middle of the long races, and more of them are being distracted by other sports and entertainments. NASCAR describes its fans as either Avid, Casual, or New. This year, they asked us to increase social engagement and participation among their Avid and Casual fans for the first and biggest race of the season, The Daytona 500.
The Hashtag 500 resulted in a three-fold increase in social conversation and fan engagement compared to last year’s Daytona 500. It generated more than 100,000 tweets and became the #1 Daytona 500-related hashtag. The #RaceForDalesFiresuitContest tweet itself generated 13,000 tweet responses in a minute (the most in the history of NASCAR's Fan and Media Engagement Center), and 10,000 tweets the next minute. Most importantly, the Hashtag 500 kept Avid and Casual fans engaged throughout the race, with each of our Twitter fan races gaining 10,000+ engagements; approximately 20x the typical engagement rate. Finally, follower count grew 100K+ new fans in one week, which set the stage for the rest of the season.