Grand Prix programme a winning formula for Philips

Challenge: The shaving category is highly competitive and creating cut-through requires an innovative marketing communications approach.

Spanish Grand Prix: sponsors
Spanish Grand Prix: sponsors

Client: Philips Shavers
Agency: Carat International
Lead planner: Emma Asquith

We put together a package between Philips Shavers, which sponsors the Williams F1 team, and BBC World News, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news channel.

The crux of the strategy was to use the Williams Formula 1 team as a model for the challenges faced by global companies. At its heart was the Philips Shavers-sponsored TV series Formula For Success, devised to appeal to affluent males who enjoy Formula 1 (Philips' target market).

Eight 30-minute programmes were produced and aired globally on the BBC World News network, promoted via 50-second vignettes carrying Philips-branded bumpers.

Viewers were encouraged to watch the series and visit a dedicated microsite, where they could access additional content, such as video.

The series featured experts from across the Formula 1 spectrum and explored how Williams F1 and its rivals overcome business and practical challenges. For example, one episode examined the business of F1 sponsorship, while others delved into topics such as technology and finance.

Each edition was repeated three times over the course of the nine-month campaign and was supported by online media.

A one-hour Philips-branded special called Track For Success was also produced and broadcast on 24 channels across the globe, including Sky in the UK and CCTV in China, as well as on the in-flight channels of eight airlines.

Formula For Success on BBC World News was broadcast in 21.6 million homes in Germany, 6.6 million homes in France, 3.7 million homes in Spain and 12.5 million homes in Japan. In total, the series and edited show were aired in 81 territories.

According to Carat research in key markets, 94% of consumers had a positive attitude towards the programme and 75% of viewers recalled Philips' sponsorship. Of those, 60% felt more positively towards the brand.

Emma Asquith, business director, Carat International

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