Running until mid-June, Lucozade Energy's first global sponsorship campaign will use experiential marketing as one of its key components, as it reaches out to the brand's core customer base of 18 to 35-year-olds.
The campaign links the high-energy drink to the action-packed environment of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), allowing one lucky winner to fly to Australia to take part in the race itself. Lucozade hopes to capture the imaginations of the expected 20,000 roadshow visitors as it arrives at universities across the UK.
The roadshow element is a key component of the larger integrated Lucozade Energy campaign and will cost an estimated £100,000. Alongside the roadshow, more traditional advertising will help produce an integrated strategy, including press advertorials in Zoo magazine and online branding. Strong links to ITV1 Motorsport and ITV2's Shakedown will follow the progress of the Lucozade competition through to the final stage in Australia.
The campaign prize is one of the most ambitious of recent years, and as Lucozade Energy brand manager Dan Scott describes, the bold sponsorship of the WRC provided an opportunity to offer something special. "By sponsoring the WRC for twelve months we have been able to create a truly unique, money-can't-buy prize for our consumers," he says. "We are offering someone the chance to be trained by professional rally drivers, achieve their rally licence and actually take part in a globally televised rally event in Australia against world championship teams and drivers."
Handling the live event is a challenge but essential, so Closer, the live marketing arm of agency Billington Cartmell, was brought on board to manage it. Closer director Karen Evans ensured the live event has a number of key components that fit with what Lucozade hopes to achieve. "Our key objectives are to exploit Lucozade's association with the WRC and bring the current on-pack promotion to life," she says.
"We want to deepen Lucozade Energy's relationship with students by creating a unique live experience that touches consumers and reflects the brand's energetic and exciting character. We have devised an interactive stand where consumers can race remote-control cars against each other as well as participate in Playstation WRC racing games on unique interactive pods. Students have the chance to win a remote-controlled rally car for the fastest lap time of the day," adds Evans.
Every visitor to the stand will also receive a coupon for a 'buy one get one free' offer at the event. Besides tracking how many visitors use the Playstations, this ensures Closer can accurately measure the success of the events.
Building on the Lucozade Energy brand was a key consideration, placed at the centre of the campaign. As Scott explains, taking your brand to customers is more important than ever. "Consumers are becoming more immune to non-imaginative advertising messages pushed in their faces, so there is a real need to encourage consumers to come to you as a brand out of choice," he says.
"An exciting and rewarding live marketing campaign is an effective tool for achieving this. Experiential marketing allows a brand to take itself out of its traditional environment, and into surroundings that perhaps have greater relevance or appeal for its audience. This can be really arresting and help consumers re-evaluate brands."
DRIVING THE MESSAGE HOME
The key component for Lucozade Energy's live marketing campaign is the stand that visitors interact with. Closer used a number of specialist suppliers to design and construct the stand, which includes four video screens, a fully functional rally car as the centrepiece and a stage that model rally cars can be raced over.
Closer operations manager Justine Ward says the strategy also involves incorporating staff on the stand into the overall effect. "We have tried to give them an exclusive feel by branding jackets and baseball caps, which gives the feel of an exclusive racing team," she says.
From the full branding on staff clothes to the Playstation pods, Closer's aim is to produce a piece of experiential marketing that remains true to the brand it represents, as well as being a practical piece of live communication. "The live marketing element of the campaign not only draws attention to the on-pack promotion and encourages purchase, but allows consumers to interact with the brand. The live experience entertains consumers and allows them to have fun. Nothing can replace that live experience," says Evans.
The Lucozade Energy stand has to be not only impressive but also practical, in that it needs to be transported between various venues throughout the UK, assembled quickly and then taken down after each event.