Here is a new article of my ‘Marketing Racing’ series, where I look closely and discuss the most interesting and innovative new and old marketing campaigns launched by luxury car manufacturers. Last month I looked at Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO RWD Spyder. This week is Ferrari’s turn, with a really fresh idea launched back in 2018. A webcomic. Despite being likely overlooked by many it is still worth mentioning as an example of creative thinking and how diverse marketing can become to appeal to a new target audience.
Ferrari as a company has a wide variety of unique channels and marketing resources thanks to its history and standing reputation, as well as its unique nature. The main pillars of its marketing mix are its racing heritage, which includes its Formula 1 history and team, its brand, named more than once ‘Most Powerful Brand in the World’ by Brand Finance, which brings numerous important sponsorships and several merchandising lines and collectors’ items.
For brand enthusiasts museums and limited-time exhibitions, such as Michael 50 and Universo Ferrari, are a great way to experience the brand. For clients instead, specialised events and activities, such as presentations and the FXX Programmes or F1 Clienti.
All these activities and marketing channels are analysed more in-depth in my Brand Market Potential Analysis.
After the Grand Prix Posters introduced a year earlier, in 2018 Ferrari added a new art wave to its portfolio to celebrate its racing DNA. It launched a daring but definitely original initiative through a really unexpected mean this time. The Ferrari-branded webcomic ‘We Race’. It has been written by Giulio Antonio Gualtieri and drawn by Riccardo Burchielli. Here below is the official trailer published online by Ferrari.
The comic is a sci-fi set in a dystopian future where the earth has become a wasteland, but a futuristic version of Formula 1 is still practiced. The storytelling naturally revolves around motorsport and its possible future. The story arc is divided into three different periods, 2057, 2058, and 2095 and deals with different themes such as teamwork, competition in sports, gender inequality, the relationships of humans with machines in a highly technological environment, and, of course, the passion for motorsport. As the quote ending the introduction of the comic reminds us: ‘Because the world may change, but certain thrills never do’.
References to Ferrari’s tradition, apart from the protagonists’ red car, even in this far future are subtle. In the panel below, the background shows what resembles a 1959 Ferrari 250 SWB and the Scuderia Ferrari badge, even if it is never mentioned in the actual story.
The mean itself is well suited for this kind of product. Set between a traditional art form and new technology, much like Ferrari itself, We Race has the capacity to really immerse the reader thanks to parallax scrolling effect, music, and sound effects accompanying the panels that unfold scrolling the page.
The webcomic was an interesting experiment directed at a potentially different demographic. Not only that of comics enthusiasts (not necessarily mutually exclusive with motorsport) but definitely a younger one.
The stories in the two time periods connect and conclude at the end of the third series. Considering the rather limited nature of the comic there is not much space for the writer to go in-depth with the character development and the unfolding events. This eventually ends up feeling a somewhat superficial reading experience, which also suggests this was more of an attempt than a proper fully developed long-term project.
What it achieves though, apart from being a technically impeccable and original product, is creating brand awareness and showing Ferrari’s willingness to try different things, celebrate motorsport and connect with its fans at many different levels. And this is one of the most important factors that contribute to creating a well-rounded marketing strategy for the most powerful brand in the world.
If you like what you read here and you would like to support me in developing this platform you can do it here:
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT ME AND THIS WEBSITE’s DEVELOPMENT