For the first time in its 69-year sporting history, Formula 1 launched the global season with a major public event in Melbourne yesterday, ahead of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019.
Produced by Graffiti Experiential, for Formula 1 London, in partnership with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), the unique consumer experience highlighted Formula 1’s new approach of putting its fans at the fore. Twenty drivers and ten team principals took to the stage in Federation Square for the official kick off and a meet and greet with thousands of die-hard fans who waited all day for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Holly O’Connell, client services director, Graffiti Experiential said the aim was to create a premium and spectacular public event that brought fans closer to the sport and for the first time unveiled the personalities of Formula 1 drivers.
O’Connell said: “This was such an exciting project for Graffiti; celebrities, glamourous brands and a global audience. The event concept had to reach far beyond just putting the drivers on stage at Federation Square, we needed to create an electric atmosphere that translated to the live broadcast and would satisfy a global fan-base.
“Our plan was to involve the drivers in a unique way and at the same time showcase the city of Melbourne in all its glory, so we coordinated all 20 drivers and 10 teams to arrive at Federation Square via an iconic Melbourne Yarra River boat and then we created unique and clever ways for excited fans to engage with their driving idols,” she said.
A recreation of the famous ‘Melbourne Walk’ - one of the symbols of the race at the Albert Park circuit - was produced at Federation Square where fans could interact with F1 stars, get signatures, take selfies and provide clear moments for social or content activity. On stage questions for the teams were crowd-sourced via fan channels, and the event culminated in the ‘ultimate selfie’, creating opportunities for content and further fan engagement. Graffiti’s remit included development and production of the overall event including management of the global broadcast.
“A cornerstone of every Graffiti event is to create genuine connections between brands and consumers, and the Formula 1 season launch delivered this and more,” concluded O’Connell.
Alex Lowe, head of brand marketing, Formula 1, said: “From the outset Graffiti understood Formula 1 is the ultimate sporting and entertainment experience, and have been a great partner on the ground throughout the project.
“The F1 launch event was the perfect way to drive hype and awareness of the world’s greatest racing spectacle ahead of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2019, and make sure our fans know they’re the focus for F1.”
Graffiti Experiential is part of WPP AUNZ, Australasia’s leading creative transformation company. Graffiti won the project in a competitive pitch last year.