Formula 1 has a reputation for being quite an exclusive sport, with fans finding themselves at arm’s length from the action and drivers. So, our challenge was to deliver a meaningful yet playful fan experience that made fans feel valued while connecting them closer than ever before to the heart of the team.
We came up with the #DriveTheDesign campaign, where we invited fans from all over the world to have fun designing the team’s official 2021 U.S. Grand Prix flag. Crucially, we put them in the driver’s seat, giving them unparalleled access and control over the outcome.
Throughout the driver-led campaign, we used McLaren’s owned channels to connect with the team’s most avid fans, targeting moments of peak interest around key races. This created buzz and authentic audience appeal.
In the first of two live Webex events, hosted by McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo (which had nearly 20,000 sign ups), the eight-time Grand Prix champion presented the challenge to 1,000 attendees worldwide. To make sure everyone could get involved, we used Webex’s innovative real-time translation function. Guests could also submit questions and take part in polls, ratings, word clouds, and ranking via Slido – Webex’s premier interactive platform.
From more than 1,300 design entries, a top-10 shortlist was put to a public vote on McLaren Instagram Stories, with about 758 K+ votes deciding the five finalists.
Daniel then hosted a Webex Fan Vote, where fans chose the final two, before he himself selected and spoke to the ultimate winner.
The winning flag was produced and sent to Austin where the team flew it throughout the U.S. Grand Prix weekend and offered it as free gift-with-purchase to F1 patrons visiting the McLaren merchandise stalls.
By tapping into real insights and desires, this 100% organic-driven campaign achieved some incredible results including:
9.6 M impressions,
1.5 M fan engagements
15.79% average engagement rate
76% positive sentiment.
Matt Dennington, Director of Partnerships at McLaren Racing, commented:
“#DriveTheDesign was a first for McLaren, giving fans the chance to have a real impact on the team. It was one of our most successful partner campaigns in 2021.”