Printer company Epson leverages its Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team partnership to promote its new EcoTank printer (and an associated speed message) with a self-deprecatingly ‘sexy’ and visually arresting campaign that sees three times FIA Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton get repeatedly soaked in 400 litres of ink.
The initiative, launched to leverage heightened Hamilton, Mercedes and F1 interest around the United States Grand Prix (21 to 23 October) in Austin, Texas, was developed with a spearhead spot by Citizen Films.
The ad, which both pushes the new product and the company’s race team sponsorship (which spans with inkjet printers, scanners, 3LCD projectors and wearables – including smart glasses) was launched ahead of the race on 19 October.
The creative, which features 10,000 sheets of paper, 400 litres of ink, and one Lewis Hamilton in a wind tunnel, drives viewers online to the brand’s website at www.epson.co.uk/lewisgetsinked.
The video is supported by plenty of digital and social amplification across Epson’s own channels and platforms (linked with the #LewisGetsInked campaign hashtag) such as Twitter,
— Epson UK (@EpsonUK) October 21, 2016
and it is also pushed across the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team’s social sites including Facebook (with its 11m fans),
YouTube (with its 117,000 subscribers),
its Instagram feed (with its 1.2m followers),
and Twitter feed (with its 1.5m followers).
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 21, 2016
In addition to the highly visual spearhead spot, the sponsor is also working in tandem with Hamilton on other activation strands leveraging interest around the US Grand Prix: such as a Facebook Live chat with the current World Champion driver that offers fans and customers a chance to directly engage and converse with Hamilton in real-time.
— Epson Formula 1 (@EpsonF1) October 19, 2016
‘During the course of each season, I get to take part in some pretty interesting projects through our work with the team’s partners, however I can say with some certainty that this is one of the more unusual,’ commented Hamilton on the Epson campaign.
‘The shoot with Epson for the EcoTank printer was a lot of fun; I always enjoy doing something a bit different and going out of my comfort zone. Having 400 litres of ink thrown at me was a new experience, so I just went with it and I think the output’s really cool.’
According to Maria Eagling, Epson Europe’s director of marketing, the brand’s innovative EcoTank system ‘has turned the world of printing upside down’, so the marketing brief was ‘to create a film that was equally surprising and memorable’.
‘Epson is known as a brand that represents quality, innovation and performance,’ claims Eagling.
‘So people won’t be expecting a fun, wry and high-action film from us.’
This distinctly tongue-in-cheek leverage programme comes after Epson and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team announced long-term global partnership back in January 2015 which saw Epson become an Official Team Partner of Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Beneath the team’s principle partner Petronas, Epson sits alongside fellow Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team partners UBS, Qualcomm and Bose.
The partnership sees Epson provide its know-how in the product areas of inkjet printers, scanners, 3LCD projectors and wearables, including smart glasses and health/sports sensing products.
‘We are extremely proud to enhance our global brand profile by becoming an official partner of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team,’ said Epson President Minoru Usui when tthe deal was signed.
‘The partnership aligns two world-renowned champion brands committed to the relentless pursuit of innovation, the attainment of global leadership positions and the creation of products and services that continue to exceed expectations and emotionally engage stakeholders worldwide.’
In addition to driver-time and access for activation, the sponsorship also sees the Epson logo on the Mercedes AMG Petronas race cars and the branding is carried on the helmet visors and race suits of both the team’s drivers – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg,
The early roll out stages of this #LewisGetsInked campaign also illustrates the importance of a rights package that includes the ability to activate on the property’s social channels – rather than just logo presence, property mark usage and ambassador time.
Because the reach of the team’s channels far, far exceeds that of the sponsor’s own platforms: vastly enhancing engagement.
Take the YouTube metrics alone as an illustrative comparison.
In the first 48 hours after the video was first posted, the leverage spot has racked up 33,000 YouTube views on the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 channel, 6,400 on Epson UK’s YouTube channel and just 944 views on Epson Europe’s channel.
The creative imagery reminds us of the fine Adidas/Chelsea ‘It’s Blue – What Else Matters?’ kit launch campaign from 2013/14 (see our 2015 Football Kit Launch Briefing Report) which saw several Chelsea star players dripping in ghostly blue paint.
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