The ABB FIA Formula E Championship brand refresh reveals a new contemporary and disruptive visual identity that aims to widen the property’s appeal, boost its fanbase and distance it from other established motor racing rights holders.
The new look has been inspired by the ‘rawness of urban city environment’ and design elements are layered and juxtaposed to fuse interruption and energy with unpredictability and boldness.
Not only has the existing logo been refined and flatten, but a whole new design approach has been developed to the brand’s output and asserts: from typeface to graphics and colour scheme.
The objective behind the reworked brand assets is to reposition the electric street racing series and ensure that it has a distinctly different position from traditional motorsports.
The rights-holders in-house team worked in harness with marketing and design consultancy Prophet London on an entire set of new Formula E brand assets that aim to help make it a ‘more relevant’ and a ‘more distinctive proposition’.
While design studio DixonBaxi worked with the fresh approach to develop new screen/TV graphics, title sequences, augmented reality and display systems that bring the updated identity to life on screen (supported by a suite of sounds by studio String & Tins).
The work followed on from a primary research phase that blended talking to fans and analysing other auto racing properties.
“By conducting extensive primary research, and specifically talking to fans, we honed-in on the single big idea that will make Formula E distinct and famous: electric street racing. The answer was to stop trying to compete with Formula 1 and move the goal posts completely,” explained Prophet partner Greg Handrick.
This approach took perceived shortcomings of the sport – a lack of engine roar noise and lower car speeds – and turned them into a key property differentiator.
“Being able to race in the heart of a city. It’s bold, innovative, and highlights boundary-pushing electric performance in a way that connects better emotionally with mainstream and younger audiences who are attracted by this new, gritty form of motorsport and digital interactivity of the race,” added Handrick
“The insight from the global research we conducted with Prophet was invaluable in focusing on what makes Formula E relevant to a millennial audience,” said Formula E marketing and brand director Ben Padley.
“This led to the building blocks of our new identity which has enabled the electric street racing series to capture the next generation of race fans.”
This contrasts with the Formula 1 brand design back in late November 2017: which was also spearheaded by a new rights-holder logo (see case study).
As part of the fresh approach, Formula E also launched its first ever title sponsor ABB,
and a slew of other fresh approaches to marketing and activation including the first ever Formula E TV ad – an adrenaline-charged, 30-second spot for the ‘Marrakesh ePrix’ – developed by agency Iris.
This ad and the wider brand refresh aim to introduce electric racing to new audiences and challenge perceptions of the sport.
The adrenaline-charged 30-second spot is the first work by Iris, which won the account in December, and promotes the return of the electric street racing season on Channel 5.
The campaign will be tailored to locations throughout the season, spanning 14 races in 11 cities, and kicks off by speeding around the streets of Marrakesh.
It was created by Lucy Green and Ryan Timms and directed by Ross Taylor and Dan Andrew through POPS Productions.
This commercial is supported by a wealth of additional digital and social assets.
String & Tins