DixonBaxi and Prophet lead visual experience for Formula E
Since its inception in 2014, the Formula E championship remains one of the most compelling sports events on the calendar. At its core, the frenetic magnetism of dazzling electrotechnology strikes at the heart of sports tech indulgence. And as drivers, racing fans and tech enthusiasts prepare for the first race of the 2017-2018 season in Marrakech, Formula E’s recent creative partnerships with design agency, DixonBaxi, and brand consultancy, Prophet, aim to reimagine the future of electric street racing.
Through a new immersive TV experience geared towards enhancing the racing story, the London-based agency worked closely with Formula E’s in-house creatives to capture the dynamism of the championship’s inner-city street circuits. Using augmented reality and head-up-display systems, the collaboration sought to expose human and technological telemetric data, giving deeper texture to Formula E racing through integrated, live-action visuals.
Gamifying the live-racing experience, DixonBaxi’s focus on the driving experience is centred around the personal, idiosyncratic nature of Formula E drivers, taking viewers inside the mind of a professional racing driver. Complimenting this, responsive graphics cleverly animate the terrain through point-of-view introspection, illustrating each driver decision using energetic and precise infographics.
Yet the visual experience also included a sonic identity, aiming to give life to the fast-paced energy sequences featured across Formula E racing. “We felt that the graphics needed to fuse with the race experience, [signalling] key race moments and specific scenarios within the race, adding urgency to bold wipes and dialling in a sleek sophistication to the viewer experience,” says DixonBaxi. Aiding the audio variables, DixonBaxi partnered with London-based sound studio, String & Tins.
“This is a revolution. Formula E is going to shape the way we drive our cars in the future,” says Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E. Announcing its partnership with Swiss-Swedish technology specialists, ABB, this week, Formula E specified a deep focus on driving the electric-driving revolution. Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, welcomed the partnership as a symbol for the shift in technology, predicting an uptake of commercial electric vehicles and emphasising the importance of higher amounts of charging stations.
Away from video storytelling, the brand positioning and design propelling Formula E to the centre of sport lovers' calendars has also been unveiled. Created by brand and marketing consultancy Prophet, the racing series is now led by an innovative brand strategy unique to the racin sector. Led by a bold blue palette and digital-first platforms, Prophet aims to distance Formula E from its better-known but perhaps less sustaianble cousin, Formula 1 - which has also recently enjoyed a rebrand.
“The answer was to stop trying to compete with Formula 1 and move the goal posts completely,” says Greg Handrick, partner at Prophet. “By conducting extensive primary research, and specifically talking to fans, we honed-in on the single big idea that will make Formula E distinct and famous: electric street racing."
Inspired by the urban setting of Formula E and raw envrionments through which drivers pass, Handrick says the branding by Prophet is driven by the same strength of passion as those behind the wheel. "It’s bold, innovative, and highlights boundary-pushing electric performance," says Handrick, "in a way that connects better emotionally with mainstream and younger audiences who are attracted by this new, gritty form of motorsport and digital interactivity of the race.”
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This article was updated on 27/02 to include the branding work for Formula E, carried out by global brand and marketing consultancy, Prophet