ESPN Promo, Case study FEEL YOUR HEART RACE by Wieden + Kennedy New York

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Wieden + Kennedy New York
Art Director Kurt Lenard
Copywriter Eric Steele
Editor Doug Pray
Released July 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser: ESPN
Product/Service: NASCAR
Date of First Appearance: Jul 23 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: WIEDEN+KENNEDY, New York, USA
Executive Creative Directors: Kevin Proudfoot/Todd Waterbury (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Creative Directors: Derek Barnes/John Parker (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Art Director: Kurt Lenard (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Copywriter: Eric Steele (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Head Of Content Production: Gary Krieg (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Broadcast Producer: Niki Polyocan (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Account Team: Rich Weinstein/Matthew Mauriello/Victoria Segar (Wieden+Kennedy NY)
Executive Producer (Production Company): Billy Poveda (Oil Factory)
Producer (Production Company): Peter Murray (Oil Factory)
Head Of Production (Production Company): Jay Wakefield (Oil Factory)
Director: Doug Pray (Oil Factory)
Editor: Doug Pray (Shapeshifter)
Sound Mixer: Luke Bechthold (Subtractive Inc.)
Sound Company: (Sound Bath)
Media placement: Documentary - ESPN2 - 23/07/2009

Results and Effectiveness
Airing as part of a special programming block paying tribute to the Brickyard, one of the most storied tracks in racing and the site of a major race in the NASCAR season, the documentary was able to hold the rating of the “NASCAR Now” studio show that preceded it. But what was perhaps more gratifying was the acclamation it engendered among fans. Blogs such as “The Daily Planet” sang its praises for dispelling stereotypes held by those unfamiliar with NASCAR and garnering goodwill amongst those who know.

Creative Execution
Feel Your Heart Race: A Look Inside NASCAR Nation is a 30-minute documentary examining the relationship between drivers and their fans. It features the heroes and action on both sides of the pit wall, exploring how/why NASCAR galvanises some of the most fervent followers in sport. For diehards and outsiders alike, it captures the emotions inside the hearts and minds of the NASCAR community in a love letter that is honest, real, fun, complex, beautiful, dangerous and ultimately fuelled by passion. The story is told entirely through colourful and thoughtful interviews with drivers and fans without narration or commentary, a mix of funny moments, random comments, intense opinions and truly authentic slices of life at the track. As a longer-form glimpse into content captured during two weeks in Daytona, the piece aired on ESPN2 as part of an integrated marketing effort across TV, radio, print and digital media.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Despite enjoying phenomenal growth in the past twenty years and perennial status as one of the nation’s top spectator sports, NASCAR continues to be, to a large extent, a misunderstood and stereotyped subculture. While ESPN had previously promoted its coverage of different NASCAR properties (the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup) through a mix of separate tactical initiatives, in 2009 we sought to create a unified creative platform that branded NASCAR on ESPN with a singular message: one that signalled to diehard fans that ESPN understands the unique brand of passion and close bond that exists between fan and driver, and authentically conveyed the range of emotions that is stockcar culture. In order to deepen their relationship with ESPN, we needed to acknowledge that more than any other sport, NASCAR is truly one in which fans feel everything.