Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is it easy being green?

I got the whooooooole wooooooorld, on my caaaar...

Autosport's article on Honda F1's official paint scheme unveiling yesterday, where they finally announced that they are introducing something RADICAL.

many sources had rumored Honda would go in a green direction with their new scheme, but even with that it's a radical departure. Honda, which joined forces with the British American Tobacco-owned British-American Racing team in 2000 as an engine supplier, bought controlling interest in the team in the winter of 2005 before the 2006 season once BAT's interest fully waned (tied directly to tobacco sponsorship laws). They kept BAT's Lucky Strike brand on as primary sponsor last year, but everybody knew they'd get a new sponsor for this year. While champion team Renault went with insurance company ING for this year after dropping their tobacco sponsorship, Honda's gone global...

what's striking is the minimalism, and the "pledging" program on their new site, myearthdream.com which will apparently provide the only words on the car - the names of those pledging to help take steps to improve the world. Their team logo, the car's number and a required Bridgestone logo (they're the exclusive tire manufacturer for the series) are the only 'traditional' aspects on the car.

I find it fascinating and rather cool looking, and I think the sports marketing angle is incredibly interesting. Red Bull have taken this approach in a much less extreme fashion - get your smaller sponsors to sign on to become a part of "the image" instead of getting your name specifically on the car, but this is going on step farther. Maybe two. It's also interesting to see how much positive press Honda as a car, motorcycle and marine manufacturer can get from doing this - will it be more powerful as an advertising tool than your car plastered with your name on it? I think so. It's a break from tradition, and while it looks good at the unveiling, I just hope it doesn't look awkward at the track.

Just for comparison's sake, here's how they looked last year:

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