American Marketer


Aston Martin leverages 100-year history via revamped logo, global celebrations

December 12, 2012


Sports car manufacturer Aston Martin is marking its centenary by unveiling a new logo and holding global celebrations such as a week of open house activities at its headquarters and a birthday event in London.

The automaker plans to celebrate its 100th birthday throughout 2013 with consumers. The centenary was announced through Aston Martin’s Web site and an email sent to its database.

“One hundred years gives legitimacy to the Aston Martin brand,” said Al Ries, founder and chairman of marketing strategy consultancy Ries & Ries, Roswell, GA. “Any brand or any company that can survive for 100 years must be a good brand or company.

“For many luxury brands with relatively low revenues, the name of the game today is public relations,” he said. “A 100-year anniversary is a particularly good opportunity to generate publicity for a brand.

“The 100-year anniversary idea reassures potential customers that Aston Martin is likely to be around for a while.”

Mr. Ries is not affiliated with Aston Martin, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Aston Martin did not respond by press deadline.

Aston Martin produces the Vantage series vehicles, the new DB9 series, the Vanquish model, the one-77 model, the Rapide model and the Cygnet model. Vehicles start at $118,370.

Happy birthday to you

Aston Martin unveiled its new logo through a video released on its centennial Web site and its YouTube channel.

Centennial video

The three-minute video begins by showing off its classic logo. It then goes into an interview with CEO Ulrich Bez.

Next, Mr. Bez is shown racing an Aston Martin on the track. The video highlights his involvement in the company by interacting with employees and driving the vehicles.

Mr. Bez also explains the idea behind the new Aston Martin logo.

The overall shape of the logo was created to resemble a nautilus shell as each of the 100 years is represented by a point in the spiral.

100 years logo

The shape was chosen to represent the ability for the brand to continue on in the future.

Aston Martin video

Although the new logo shows off Aston Martin's past and future, it does not show the brand's racing history.

"The nautilus is representative of Aston Martin's patient slow growth with harmony over the past 100 years and its future since the nautilus has no end," said George Magda, vice president of national accounts at Herman Advertising, Fort Lauderdale.

"I personally would have liked to see an automotive symbol instead of a nautical look as the Aston Martin heritage is based in racing DNA," he said. "Aston Martin is a fast British-racing, James Bond-driving machine, not a nautilus."

Party time
In addition to unveiling a new logo, the automaker is also hosting events for Aston Martin enthusiasts around the world.

The celebrations were promoted through the Aston Martin Web site at They are also being pushed via an email that resembled a letter from Mr. Bez and contained an image of a new Aston Martin vehicle next to an old model.

Email image

The click-through on the email brings recipients to the Aston Martin centenary Web site where details of events are listed.

A commemorative plaque reveal will take place at the original home of Aston Martin in Henniker Mews, London, on the actual birthday of the brand Jan. 15.

The automaker will also host its own Aston Martin Owners Club Centenary race July 13-14 at Brands Hatch in Kent, England.

The Aston Martin Centenary Drives program allows Aston Martin drivers to experience a drive, a hotel stay and dinners with other drivers. This program is available in various locations in Europe and Pebble Beach, CA.

One week full of celebrations during the Centenary Week July 15-21 will include various open house activities at the brand’s headquarters in Warwickshire, England.

The week will end with an official Aston Martin birthday party in London July 20-12.

This celebration makes sense for an automaker such as Aston Martin.

“A small brand like Aston Martin cannot afford to spend much on advertising and marketing,” Ries & Ries' Mr. Ries said. “It is probably more effective for the company to put its entire advertising budget behind a single idea, such as the 100 years concept.”

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York