‘This Is Nascar’ Gets Green Flag

Primedia Produces Its Third Multimedia Effort for Racing Group
ATLANTA–Nascar rolls out its fast wheels and big names Friday for the 2000 racing season, breaking its third annual national campaign from Primedia Communications.
Continuing with the tagline “This is Nascar,” the $7.5 million multimedia effort highlights the top cars and drivers of the organization’s three racing circuits.
Television commercials titled “School of Hard Knocks” and “Young Guns” illustrate the general theme of the broadcast advertising. Fast cars swerve, pass and crash, with cutaways to racers offering their observations about each other and the coming year.
“Once the green flag drops, there’s no friends on the racetrack,” says Craftsman truck series driver David Starr.
“When you’re looking in your rearview mirror, they’re your friend,” observes Joe Ruttman. “If you’re looking at them through your windshield, they’re your enemy.”
Ten 30-second TV commercials will run before, during and after race broadcasts on the three major networks, as well as both ESPN channels, TBS and TNN. Seven 30-second radio ads air on nationally syndicated programming, plus 10 full-page, four-color print executions will appear in Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine and Nascar-licensed publications.
Primedia in Atlanta was hired by Nascar in 1996 for marketing duties. After spearheading a pivotal decision to license the Nascar name, the shop assumed advertising duties as well. It delivered the sport’s first national advertising effort in 1998, centering around the racing organization’s 50th anniversary and introducing the “This is Nascar” tag, which “communicates the brand essence of Nascar,” said agency president Mark Johnson.
“It simply but clearly communicates that this traditionally blue-collar sport is the fastest-growing sport in the country . . . [It] is tremendously popular with a wide variety of people,” he said.
Creative director on the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Nascar account is Atlanta freelancer Cleve Wilcoxon, who has overseen the advertising campaign since its 1998 launch. Wilcoxon is the most obvious example of Primedia’s business strategy of subcontracting the creative portions of its ad accounts. Primedia handles all media duties for its clients.
“The Nascar campaign itself needs to be a fastball down the middle,” Wilcoxon said. “The print is the one place where they’re just starting to loosen up a bit. That ‘Extra Crunchy’ print ad was the type of thing we really had to fight for.” K