American Marketer


Ferrari appeals to thrill-seekers at Aviation Summit

May 9, 2014

Dream Dream Racing with Ferrari


Italian automaker Ferrari will be showcased at the 2014 Aviation Summit Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in Palm Springs, CA, for a Dream Racing event.

The Aviation Summit's creed to present the best from the world of aviation fits in with Ferrari's aspiration to be a producer of cutting-edge technology. Luxury automakers tend to look beyond their borders for partnerships and events that highlight shared values.

"Events like 'Dream Race' further indelibly imprint the brand in the mind of best prospects," said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami, FL. "This is a great example of experiential marketing."

Mr. Ramey is not affiliated with the Aviation Summit, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

The Aviation Summit did not respond by press deadline.

Flying down the road

The Aviation Summit attracts around 10,000 pilots, aviation enthusiasts and industry experts and features three days of events, educational opportunities, parties and parades.

A chief focus of the summit is to introduce new products and technology through hands-on demonstrations. The event is helmed by Lift Event Management, which designs events for commerce, financial services, education and entertainment

Attendees eager to learn about the latest aviation advances will likely appreciate the parallels evident in the world of racing.


Dream Racing

Founders of Dream Racing, Ado De Micheli and Enrico Bertaggia, have backgrounds that intersect with Ferrari, along with extensive racing experience. For example, Mr. De Michelli has 12 years experience as an instructor Ferrari Driving Experience in Maranello and Maserati Driving School in Parma, Italy.

The racing experience begins with an educational session where participants watch a video to learn correct driving techniques. Guests then suit up in racing gear. A simulator session gives drivers a sense of the impending course.

Participants hit the road in a car that has been designed solely for performance, stripped of all luxuries such as comfort suspensions, radios and electric windows.

Otherwise street-illegal vehicles such as the Ferrari F430 GT will be available for guests to race. Among other activities, participants will be able to test a Ferrari's ability to reach 60 miles per hour.

The experience will likely stoke interest in, and maybe even sales for, Ferrari.

Part of the DNA

Racing has always loomed large in the mythos of luxury auto brands, justifying both steep prices and deference.

Most automakers continually polish this connection.

For instance, Italian automaker Lamborghini is spurring fans to engage with its new Huracan model with a dedicated video game that features the vehicle and a single course.

The “Drive my Huracan” game is distinct from other automotive games in that it does not include interactive or alternative content. Limiting the game to the new vehicle will likely serve of its purpose of getting fans to linger on the Huracan (see story).

Also, 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 (see story).

Oftentimes, former racers become major brand advocates.

"Your best prospects are your brand apostles," Mr. Ramey said.

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