Thursday, May 22, 2008

INDY DownForce And Marketing Blunders

Promotional graphic used by INDY DownForce to promote mobile information alert applications. Non-sponsoring company product married to a log-time IRL racing team and series sponsor from the same mobile products industry. Graphic Credit: INDY DownForce broadcast email to inbox

INDY DownForce And Marketing Blunders

Mark this down as one of those - "What's Wrong With This Picture?", episodes.

To the casual observer, this issue may not mean so much … but to sponsoring entities that pay big bucks to support an advertising and branding awareness campaigns, this blunder is BIG.

This morning, we at Symblogogy received an announcement from the fansite of the Indy Racing League informing fans of a new and free function one could bring to their mobile phones.

The text from the email alert reads as follows:

IndyCar Mobile gets you FREE, convenient access to IndyCar Series racing at your fingertips. Get the inside edge on racing action with features such as:

Just Released!

RITMO Mundo Timing and Scoring - Breaking News - Race Videos - Photos - Discounts - IndyCar Nation and more...

The problem comes when one looks at the photo used to illustrate and draw attention to the free offer. The photo features a BlackBerry mobile phone with Danica Patrick’s - Andretti Green Racing, MOTOROLA Sponsored Dallara racing machine in front to emphasize the IRL Timing and Scoring feature tie-in.

Think of the symbology …

Doesn’t anyone understand Marketing 101 down there at INDY DownForce? Isn’t there any sensibility to the ties of who sponsors what, and if it makes sense to have a non-sponsoring company’s product (BlackBerry, RIM) be shown prominently with a strong, competitive sponsoring company effort (Motorola)?

Why couldn’t INDY DownForce have stripped up this marketing graphic using a Motorola RAZR … or similar Motorola product as opposed to a RIM manufactured product?

How are IRL racing teams going to relate the value of sponsorship with this type of vision and lack of collaborative support?

The fact remains that many teams have started the first three races of the ICS season with little or NO SPONSOR SUPPORT on their sidepods!

This is a blunder … a BIG marketing blunder indeed!

1 comment:

Henri said...

The most laughable marketing blunder related with Indianapolis I have heard of is this one:

The 1953 Indy 500 program featured a Champion spark plug advertisement in which a race car was pictured ...

Being: the 1952 Cummins diesel special that had won the pole the year before!

The lone car in the entire starting field that didn't use any spark plug at all!!!

Only using a car that used rival's plugs (and this clearly visible on the car) would have been more embarassing....