Most high-level motorsport sponsors spend at least three times their sponsorship budget advertising and promoting the sponsorship. Yes, this means that Mars Inc. spends much more on cardboard cut-outs of Kyle Busch displaying packets of M&Ms at 7-11 stores, than they do on his #18 NASCAR.
It also means is that many racing teams actually get more exposure from sponsor advertising than they do at the track (a fact that helps to hedge against a season in which the sponsored driver or rider isn't battling for the lead in every race.)
Sometimes, this advertiser-controlled exposure pays huge dividends back to the team. Ducati, for example, could never afford to buy the exposure it got when Xerox decided to make its Ducati sponsorship a major theme in overall corporate advertising.
Unfortunately, that benefit won't accrue to the factory Honda effort when Repsol airs this commercial. The tagline might tell us they're inventing the future, but Repsol's ad agency is just recycling clichés. Yes, it's all in slow motion, even though none of the action requires slow motion for it to be fully grasped; that's how we know it's all cool. And they've managed to make even MotoGP, one of the world's most visually compelling spectacles, completely sterile.
What's Casey Stoner thinking at the 16-second mark in the spot, when he slaps his forehead? I'm guessing it's, "Mate, this spot is lame."
I was hoping to find a great counter-example to this spot on YouTube - Remember a few years back when, during SpeedTV coverage of AMA Superbike races, there was a great Dunlop tire ad that was made up of shots of racers using gestures and body language to tell their crew chiefs how their bikes were handling? It was a thing of beauty (all the more so because I am sure it was done on a tiny budget.) It worked because it got to a compelling underlying idea -- that top racers are more sensitive to some things, like tires, than we mortals -- and it implied that if Dunlop tires were built to their standards they'd more than meet ours. It was filmed at an actual race weekend, in all its chaotic glory. And the people in it weren't acting, they were just being their unselfconscious, real selves.
If any Backmarker readers happen to have that Dunlop spot -- or better yet were involved in its creation -- please contact me, eh?