No matter where Formula 1 travels to, they are the masters of delivering the same brand message and the same product anywhere in the world. One of the major reasons for this is their carefully choreographed cluster advertising around the circuits.
Cluster advertising essentially means the same logo appearing multiple times within a certain area, and the TV cameras are carefully placed to pick up as much of the advertising as possible, with shots often beginning and ending on a sponsor. The big plus for this style of advertising is that the viewer is very likely to see the brand and that logo will probably stick in their mind in some form or another.
In the past, for example during the 60s and 70s, multiple companies would fight for the same space so there were often up to 10-15 different logos in the same area. It’s confusing and doesn’t do well for setting a memorable image.
On Friday we saw the first glimpse of the 2017 sponsors and their placements. Here is the summary for the 2017 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Detailed descriptions come later on in the post, discussing the camera positioning for example.
- START / FINISH | Rolex, Melbourne / Australia
- T1-T2 | Rolex
- T3 | Melbourne / Australia
- T4-T7 | Pirelli
- T8-T9 | Heineken
- T10 | Formula 1 Experiences, Melbourne / Australia
- T11 | Melbourne / Australia
- T12 | Heineken
- T13 | Formula 1 Experiences
- T14-T16 | Rolex
Interestingly, there is a total absence of Fly Emirates advertising this weekend. Sometimes their logo doesn’t appear when it contradicts with another airline title sponsor (such as Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways), but Fly Emirates was at Melbourne last year. I’m not sure why this is, but I expect the logo to appear again at the next Grands Prix.
Also, there’s not any UBS advertising anywhere this weekend. There’s not been any official announcement but I wonder if UBS are reducing their F1 sponsorship further. I know they decreased it back in 2014, but the total lack of their logo this weekend makes me have my suspicions. It’s not even below the start lights for this year, which is quite unusual.
START / FINISH | Rolex, Melbourne / Australia
Rolex has been the title sponsor of the Australian Grand Prix since 2013 (previously Qantas), and therefore the luxury watch brand logo appears extensively through the paddock area of the circuit. As you can see in the images above, there’s an abundance of the logo around the start / finish straight area, which leads all the way down to the entry of Turn 3. There’s also the Melbourne / Australia branding around the start / finish area, but I will discuss that more when the brand is featured extensively later in the lap.
T1-T2 | Rolex
Further Rolex advertising through the start of the lap, including a large logo spread across the grass on the inside of Turn 1. This is a physical advert and not virtual, and so far through this Australian Grand Prix weekend I haven’t noticed any virtual advertising. I expect there may be some in the race however.
It’s also worth noting the style of kerbs used at Albert Park, which are totally different to any other circuit with the exception of Interlagos in Brazil. The colours used are yellow and green, which are of course the national sporting colours of Australia.
T3 | Melbourne / Australia
The Rolex advertising ends and the Melbourne advertising begins. This is now the second year of the new style branding, with the previous version lasting from 2008-2015. It’s a really great design, just simple dark blue and white, with a modern and crisp choice of typography, Neutraface. There isn’t much of the logo here however, as that is featured extensively later on in the lap.
T4-T5 | Pirelli
Extensive advertising for Pirelli, the tyre supplier of Formula 1. It’s mainly just the simple yellow and red logo which runs along the walls, but through Turn 4 you can see the larger P Zero branding as well, which is the official name given to the Pirelli slick tyres.
Evidently, Pirelli must pay for a substantial amount of advertising space as their logo takes up 5 corners of track space, only beaten by Rolex (to be expected however as the title sponsor).
T6-T8 | Pirelli
Further Pirelli advertising through Turns 6 and 7, with just the simple small barrier logo. There’s no larger hoardings on the side of the track through this section.
T9 | Heineken
Heineken’s presence is limited for this opening round of the 2017 season. The official Heineken logo is actually nowhere to be seen, instead solely featuring their advertising campaign slogan, ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’. You can see this once on the bridge over Turn 8, and then later on in the lap on the barriers too.
T9-T10 | Melbourne / Australia
Something that gives the Australian Grand Prix some identity from other races is the use of the Melbourne city brand. I assume this is because the race receives government funding, whereas for the British Grand Prix there is no government funding, so no special adverts appear.
The logo, which I spoke about earlier, features heavily around the lake side area between T9 and T11. It’s along the walls and the bridges, all using the dark blue colour scheme, not the aqua as seen on the start / finish straight.
I wish all the Grands Prix had their own identity like this. I believe each race should have at least one national sponsor. It happens at some races (Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, Singapore Airlines in Singapore, Petronas in Malaysia, Mexico in Mexico, Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi), but it should be like this throughout the calendar. It gives that race it’s own identity and it’s own unique look.
T11-T12 | Heineken
The final bit of Heineken branding is through Turns 11 and 12, just along the barriers again with their slogan rather than brand logo. It’s also worth noting the use of yellow lines marking the edge of the circuit, rather than white lines. I can’t think of any other circuit that uses yellow lines rather than white, so that’s a really cool touch.
T13 | Formula 1 Experiences
A brand new sponsor for 2017 with the newly launched Formula 1 Experiences programme. It’s essentially a place to grab yourself some exclusive tickets which include paddock walks, pit walks, etc. The new owners of F1 clearly want to get the new message out there with this advertising on the barriers and bridge.
The logo also appears on the rear of all the safety lights placed around the circuit. So when there is a yellow flag for example, yellow lights also appear around the circuit.
T14-T16 | Rolex
Once again the Rolex advertising begins near the end of the lap, with their logo featured exclusively for 6 corners. All the larger logos are once again carefully positioned for maximum TV exposure time.