Work — Heineken shows the world F1 is more than a race

Heineken F1

At a

Having secured a partnership with Formula One in 2016, Heineken asked Poke to show people that F1 was more than just a race. Heineken's audience weren't natural fans of the sport: F1 drivers didn't seem like real athletes, the races were overly technical, and the fans seemed to lack the passion that other sports attracted. We decided to make a series of online videos to challenge these views. They'd be activated during the 21 world Grand Prix races and help change would-be fans into dedicated followers of F1.

Project Details
Social campaign
Alcoholic Beverage
Video content
Content strategy
Digital strategy
Launch Date
April 2017

The brief

Heineken have a long-term partnership with UEFA Champions League, so their F1 sponsorship deal in 2016 offered the perfect opportunity to strengthen their sporting ties. With 21 Grand Prix races to activate, they created #MoreThanARace, a global comms platform to shine a light on F1 life beyond the racetrack - the cities, the parties, the people. 

Our socially-led activation for #MoreThanARace would drive awareness, create excitement and draw in a new generation of fans.  

What mattered

A partnership between Heineken, a premium lager, and Formula One, a premium sporting event, seemed like the perfect fit. But Heineken's consumers needed convincing. They felt F1 was a closed show, available to the privileged or super rich. It was a world that didn't feel very Heineken, whose brand promise of 'Open Your World' was about exploration and inclusion. In short, misconceptions were putting them off.

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The idea

F1 Walk Through Videos 
Heineken tackle F1's biggest misconceptions, showing outsiders that there’s much more to the sport than they thought.

What we made

Finding our audience
With the help of Facebook, we clustered potential F1 fans into three groups: those likely to respond to 'geeky' facts about engineering prowess, those looking for a personality to support, and those interested in entertainment beyond the finish line. All we had to do was deliver relevant, entertaining stories to each of these audience groups.

The 'Walk Throughs'
Working with industry insiders we gathered a mountain of extraordinary F1 insights, facts and stats including engineering feats, drivers pre-race rituals and the way cities transform when GPs roll into town. We needed someone credible to help us tell these stories so we recruited David Coulthard, a legend in the sport and an approachable face outside of it. To start, we created 3x 15 second films designed to feel like the best classroom lesson you ever sat through. DC tackles each F1 misconception one by one, countering it with a string of remarkable facts, all delivered in one mind bending 'to camera' monologue.

Cinemagraphs, gifs and stills 

Our 'Walk Throughs' were then broken down into short form formats each focusing on busting a single F1 misconception.

Digital Posters

Digital posters announced each Grand Prix and were distributed to audiences around the globe at crucial race moments. Each 'poster' used imagery and language that drew focus to a side of the sport you'd never have expected including architecture, fan culture, local rituals.

When and where did we say it?

Using Facebook insights and segmentation we were able to target different audiences with the most suitable creative. For example, if they seemed likely to watch a race, we delivered a video that encouraged them to tune in. When likelihood to watch was low but interest in race location was high (for iconic places in places like Monza or Silverstone) Facebook audiences saw ads that talked about the hot spots of those locations.

How did it matter

The 'Walk Through' creatives were enjoyed by millions of potential F1 fans across the world, busting their misconceptions about the race, and opening them up to a whole new world of sport. Our smart use of data resulted in higer than average engagements and view through rates and was heralded by our platform partners and media industry alike.