NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
Nationwide Insurance wanted a new campaign featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. What we ultimately created was a unique, interactive experience that exposed NASCAR fans to exclusive content, integrated brand messaging and one-on-one conversations with their favorite NASCAR driver, all while deepening their overall relationship with Nationwide Insurance. Scroll down to see how the campaign developed.
PHASE 1: THE PRANK
In our last couple of television commercials, we’ve established a fun rivalry between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. This year, we took their rivalry to the next level by incorporating a prank into the national TV spot. In the spot, Dale Earnhardt Jr. shares Danica’s personal cell phone number with the world, encouraging people to call. To make the prank as believable as possible, we purchased a cell phone with a Scottsdale area code because this is where Danica lives. And then we had her record a special voicemail message:
DANICA: Hi. You’ve reached Danica Patrick. I can’t answer the phone right now but if you leave me your name and number I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. If you’re calling because you saw my cell phone number on TV, thanks to Dale Jr., then maybe you’re looking for more information about Vanishing Deductible. You can find out everything at jointhenation.com. But if you’d rather leave me a message with thoughts on how I can get Dale back, that would be great. If I like your idea, I might just personally return your call. Thanks, bye.
PHASE 2: BRAND/FAN INTERACTION
During the next four months, that cell phone received over 100,000 calls and almost 12,000 text messages. And over a third of those NASCAR fans left a message for Danica with ideas on how she could get Dale Jr. back for his prank.
PHASE 3: THE CONVERSATION
Then, to capitalize on all the fan engagement we had generated, we created a new Facebook tab on Danica’s personal page as a hub for fans to gather, discuss and help plot Danica’s revenge on Dale Jr.
We shot videos of Danica calling fans back, further deepening engagement, encouraging others to call and providing lucky fans with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk with their favorite NASCAR driver.
PHASE 4: THE FINALE
Now that we had established an ongoing conversation between Danica and her fans, it was time to take this storyline to it’s climax – Danica’s payback. So after reviewing thousands of fan suggestions, Danica decided to get Dale Jr. back by putting a NASCAR twist on a classic prank – and filling his motorhome at the track with over a million Ping-Pong balls.
We filmed this payback prank in a “Punk’d” style with Danica relishing in her imaginative prank. Unfortunately, her planning was slightly off and she filled the wrong bus with Ping-Pong balls. But even though this prank closed the door on this campaign and Danica’s rivalry with Dale Jr., it may have sparked a new one.
SECOND SCREEN APP
We developed a second screen app to provide an enhanced viewing experience for race day coverage of NASCAR on ESPN.
NASCAR.COM SCREEN TAKEOVER
We designed an interactive screen takeover on NASCAR.COM that allowed the user to control and drive the Nationwide Series pace car around the page. The real time background elements would then shake and explode around the page as the car interacted with them.