Marketing the racing season


sally_signage_nailsFrom pink feathered advertising to a trackside Japanese pop up bar, the Spring racing carnival has officially arrived.

In the grocery and liquor space, the majors have begun rolling out the usual instore campaigns, such as promotions around the unofficial racing beverage of champagne.

But those really pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in 2013 are primarily FMCG companies, such as Schweppes and beauty brand, Sally Hansen.

At the pre-store end of the spectrum is Sally Hansen, which has installed 10 bespoke advertising signs in shopping centres in Sydney and Melbourne.

The advertising features 3D pink feathers, mimicking fascinator head pieces worn by women to race events.

John Purcell, head of production at oOh! Media, which created the feathered displays, says the campaign is about an “extra wow factor”.

“[It’s also about] captivating and engaging with the right audience closer to the point of purchase,” he says.

At the premium end of the market, Lexus, Lavazza, Myer, and Schweppes are some of those set to take their brand to the next level.

Lexus’ presence at Flemington Race Course this year will be a three-storey marquee designed around the company’s Japanese heritage.

The brand’s Birdcage marquee, which is in its 11th year, will feature a pop up restaurant by Hibou and interiors inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Its ultimate focal point will be Lexus’ new IS 350 F Sport model, with guests offered private transfers in vehicles to and from the racetrack.

“Our guests will experience the true, authentic philosophy of Lexus at every touch point,” says Sean Hanley, CEO of Lexus Australia.

A new entrant at the Birdcage in 2013 is soft drink manufacturer, Schweppes, which will collaborate with lifestyle media outlet, Broadsheet.

Hanan Eissa, senior brand manager of Cadbury Schweppes, told Fairfax the Bar Schweppes pop up aims to be “the best Melbourne bar” possible.

Lavazza is also continuing its black and white Italian cafe concept, which is arguably known just as much for its exclusive guest lists than its quality coffee.

Jon Bird, director of Ideaworks, says trackside pop ups are all about “pitching yourself at the top end of the market” and generating positive publicity.

“[It is] hard to justify the return on investment, but [they] might be justified in terms of return on image,” he says.

A render of the Lexus Birdcage marquee
A render of the 2013 Lexus Birdcage marquee

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