Paul Holmes 06 Jul 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
The Jaguar racing team has raced at some of the toughest courses around the world ... but has never experienced a tougher course than the one they found in the middle of Manhattan. Medialink helped Jaguar gear up for their first Formula One U.S. Grand Prix in almost 10 years by staging a promotional event in Times Square - a Jaguar R1 Formula One raced a New York City Yellow Checker cab. Closing off a section of Times Square in the middle of the work day to race a Formula One and Yellow cab seems like a logistical nightmare, but one that would leave a strong impression on its viewers. The media reach extended globally and raised the Jaguar name and brand recognition when mentioned with Formula One racing.
Besides the obvious logistical obstacles of coordinating such a stunt in Times Square, there was also a more pressing issue. The Medialink and Jaguar team worked closely to attract media attention, for this event wasn’t “real news,” rather an announcement of intent by Jaguar and Formula One. The news hook had to be creative enough to draw attention from nationwide stations and reporters to make the event worthwhile.
RESEARCH, PLANNING, AND OBJECTIVES:
This event took many months of planning to come off successfully. The team had to be flexible with plans that were pending on city permit approval. The project went through several revisions, nonetheless, the end product was spectacular.
It was through this planning stage that our goals became evident:
- Position Jaguar as a leader in Formula One racing
- Showcase the Jaguar team and car
- Announce the Formula One racing’s return to America
- Present Jaguar experts and resources to the media in an entertaining manner.
There are many auto manufacturers involved in racing. We knew that just another story about a new racing car, would not separate Jaguar from the pack. The entertaining “tongue-and-cheek” approach to this event was well received by viewers - viewers who have not been exposed to this type of European racing before. It was important to make this sport appear welcoming to new fans.
Jaguar crew was on hand to field questions from the media as well as present car to the public. They were presented as experts in their fields.
With many on-lookers and a 4-camera production, Medialink producers captured footage for this multi-tiered project. A VNR was edited same day and distributed domestically and internationally. The edited footage was run on the JumboTron in Times Square and later posted on Jaguar.com.
The Medialink Radio team gathered SOT’s on-site and distributed the ANR later that afternoon. Medialink WirePix was on hand to cover photography needs.
RESULTS AND EVALUATION:
There was a great media turnout at the event with most requesting dubs of the VNR. In total, more than 10.5 million domestic and 15.7 million international viewers watched the tires squealing and intense drama unfold in Times Square. The accompanying videotape illustrates the media penetration of this story, making it one of the most successful campaign promotions for a Jaguar product.