The summer season has arrived in the UK and that means Royal Ascot and this year’s meeting was celebrated (and marketed) when the racecourse owners commissioned artist David Mach to create a collage work to bring to life the wonderful stories of world-class racing, pageantry and fine dining which together create the ‘Great British Drama’ of Royal Ascot
Mach, a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Art, unveiled his work alongside top jockey Johnny Murtagh and Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge as an homage to the meeting and to promote this year’s event.
Mach was given access to the course owners’ 4,000 photos of the meeting, taken at Royal Ascot over several decades and from this he selected more than 200 to create the six-foot by five-foot piece.
The collage is displayed throughout the Royal Ascot meeting before being auctioned off.
It features six champions of the modern era, along with past champions and record holding horses from previous era, as well as iconic trainers, media stars, references to the meeting’s famous fine dining reputation, the track’s famous greencoats and, of course, the world famous Royal Procession,
The key stories depicted in the collage are being told on the Ascot Racecourse Facebook page.
‘This is a captivating snapshot of Royal Ascot past and present. We wanted to bring to life some of the wonderful stories of Royal Ascot and we feel David has captured perfectly the verve and vibrancy of our historic event,’ commented Ascot Racecourse CEO Charles Barnett.
While the artist consulted the client on the brief, he was left to exercise his own artistic licence.
‘Royal Ascot was a particular challenge – how to get the social and joyous essence of the British into one action still?’ Mach commented.
‘It is an exuberant and celebratory image of a sport that combines us all. We dress beautifully at Ascot, we make an effort. It’s Britain at its ‘can do’ best.’
‘It’s heartening in this digital, CGI world that a tradition such as collage still has a place. David Mach is regarded as one of its greatest exponents and this medium seems perfect at capturing one of Britain’s greatest sporting events,’ said Tim Ashton, creative director at Antidote
The creative agency behind the campaign was Antidote, with media work by MediaVest and the client was Ascot commercial director Juliet Slot.
We wanted our campaign to reinforce that Royal Ascot is an aspirational and inclusive occasion which offers a whole range of wonderful experiences across each of the five-days for people to enjoy,’ explains Slot.
‘We were delighted to commission such a respected artist in David Mach to showcase this mix of world-class racing, pageantry, tradition, excitement, patriotism and style which helps make Royal Ascot such a well-loved event.
‘The campaign allows us to tell some evocative personal stories through our digital platforms from those in the racing world.’
Some of the marketing related pre-meeting publicity revolved around Royal Ascot choosing Qipco, a company owned by the Qatar ruling family as the first sponsor in its history (a move that was given consent by The Queen herself).
This deal saw the sponsor gain a set of rights ranging from branding and logo appearances to hospitality and ticket packages.
But this traditional-meets-modern marketing initiative from the property owner itself – which blends traditional art with social media – is a fascinating way to combine tradition with modernity.
Royal Ascot Facebook
Royal Ascot Website