American Marketer

Events / Causes

Aston Martin chases glory with largest racing program in brand history

March 3, 2014


British automaker Aston Martin is gearing up for its largest racing program to celebrate the most extensive motorsport campaign in the brand's history.

The automaker will travel to various 24-hour endurance races such as the Le Mans race in France and the Nürburgring race in Germany. Following up centenary celebrations with a massive racing push may provide a jolt to fans fatigued with brand campaigns.

"Via our social media channels we will attempt to involve enthusiasts around the world at every race, while at races themselves we’ll attempt to bring people as close as is possible with autograph sessions and pit-stop demonstrations wherever possible," said Matthew Clarke, brand communications manager of Aston Martin North America, Irvine, CA.


Aston Martin's expanded racing program is partially motivated by the success of the Vantage GT3 in 2012. Since then, the brand has been engaged in a five-year plan to win the ADAC Nürburgring 24.

The brand will also be racing in 24-Hours of Le Mans, the Silverstone round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT Championship and other locations. More information about key races, participating drivers and vehicles can be found here.

As many as seven Aston Martin vehicles will make an appearance at Le Mans. The brand has joined up with Bamboo Engineering for the World Endurance Championship.

Promotions have begun to trickle out on social pages to activate the atmosphere-building power of its social communities. Aston Martin has already rallied fans to stay involved with the races.

Aston Martin tweet

The latest installment of the brand's Friday Films explores this season's races. Drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke discuss the significance of upcoming races.

Aston Martin Racing | 2014 Season Preview

Eyeing the surroundings

While automotive commercials tend to be singular in their push for sales, commissioned short films generally step away from self-promotion and celebrate broader areas of life.

Consumer relationships begin with the vehicle, but brand loyalty often arises from the values a brand embodies outside of commerce. Film happens to be an effective tool for broadcasting these values, and luxury automakers regularly commission videos where they play a minor role (see story).

Many auto brands have split allegiances to the consumer and to racing, so what constitutes the right balance?

Following appearances in racing events, social media pages are often saturated with tribute-recaps that can enthrall a core constituency, but may also fail to resonate with less zealous fans. However, reminding all fans of the intense competition and push toward innovation inherent in racing can create an aura of passion that captivates rather than deters consumers (see story).

For brands such as Aston Martin, the racing identity and the commercial identity are neatly merged.

"We plan to engage with fans who are both at the races in person and those watching from a distance," Mr. Clarke said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York