Martin Gets Nascar Driver in UPS Truck

ATLANTA The Martin Agency will launch two television spots in its “Race the truck” campaign for UPS during Sunday’s broadcast of Nascar’s Daytona 500 on NBC, the shop said.

This is the fifth year of the ongoing campaign to convince Nascar driver Dale Jarrett, who races the UPS car, to compete in the delivery truck instead. Jarrett finally agreed to race the truck during last year’s campaign. This year’s work puts him into a modified UPS truck that he takes to the track for testing.

The Martin Agency, an Interpublic Group company based in Richmond, Va., hired a crew last fall to transform a 20-year-old UPS delivery truck with 250,000 miles on it into a racer. On the outside, the truck looks like most any other UPS delivery vehicle. Underneath, it has a racing motor capable of producing 800 horsepower and reaching a top speed of 150 miles per hour. The truck was delivered to the Nashville, Tenn., speedway for the shoot.

In one of the two spots scheduled to debut this weekend, three members of Jarrett’s pit crew are watching him go around the track in the truck. They begin to wonder if the truck’s brakes are big enough to stop so much weight at such high speed. Then, they watch Jarrett sliding and spinning around as he tries to stop. They decide to put bigger brakes on the truck.

In the other spot, a man and his young son are watching cars go back on the track during a practice session for the drivers. The wind from the first two cars that pass by ruffle their clothing. When the UPS truck passes by, the boy is blown horizontal as his father holds him by the hand.

Putting Jarrett and the UPS truck on a track was a natural progression of the campaign, said Mike Lear, the copywriter on the account.

“We can’t keep saying we want him to race it without eventually doing it,” Lear said. “This year, we had to progress the story without giving it all away.”

Martin has produced three additional spots that will appear during the Nascar season.