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Lotus & Infiniti Marketing -- does it work?


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Poll: Well... (106 member(s) have cast votes)

Does Lotus' marketing in F1 work for you?

  1. Yes (44 votes [42.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.31%

  2. No (60 votes [57.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 57.69%

Does Infiniti's marketing in F1 work for you?

  1. Yes (17 votes [16.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.35%

  2. No (87 votes [83.65%])

    Percentage of vote: 83.65%

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#1 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:41

Brand awareness? Sure. Ticks the boxes.

Somehow, for me, it doesn't work how a victory by Senna in a McLaren created an aura of technical excellence for Honda engines, or a crushing win by Schumacher created an aura of the general excellence of Ferrari.

Infiniti is plastered all over that Red Bull, but somehow for me it doesn't demonstrate the excellence or superiority of Infiniti motor cars (over Mercedes-Benz or whatever), it's just a logo as far as I am concerned.

Similarly the rebranded Lotus team doesn't quite make me think of excellence and technology of Lotus Cars to have won the race, and how advanced and sophisticated their latest Evora is. It's sort of just some logos and a colour scheme...

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#2 Lights

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:44

No, but perhaps that's not their goal. Compared to Ferrari/McLaren, they are lesser known so like you say it could be more about brand awareness right now.

#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:50

I think it can, but it takes more than a few seasons. I take Honda and Renault a lot more seriously than I would had they not had long and successful racing histories. I don't know how much it's actually reflected in their products but I assume a Honda is a fairly well designed and constructed car, as much as it can be in it's price range, because their culture of motorsport engineering goes all the way to the top. It's less about technology transfer as attitude transfer.

#4 pinkypants

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:51

Same about the 'Renault' engines...

Doesn't make me want to buy a renault, doesn't exactly add brand value.. although it must be as Renault surely are making money out of F1.

#5 Jimisgod

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:56

Same about the 'Renault' engines...

Doesn't make me want to buy a renault, doesn't exactly add brand value.. although it must be as Renault surely are making money out of F1.


Nah, I think engines work. The engine was quite an important part of the F1 car. Still is, despite the relatively invisible differences today.



#6 seahawk

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:56

For any normal roadcar, the participation and success in F1 would not interest me one bit. I fail to understand why Renault is even in F1. I can not remember seeing a F1 related advertisment from them since 2005.

#7 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 13:01

Depends on what country you're in. I saw plenty of F1 themed road car ads during Alonso's championships. Special edition Meganes, etc.

#8 Sakae

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 13:09

Lotus is a racing label of the past, and since I do not like to live too much in nostalgia, thus the answer is "no" to the first question.

Infiniti on RBR actually pisses me slightly off, because if anything, Renault's logo deserves to dominate on that car, not (locusts) Infiniti, thus the answer is "yes" to question 2, since the mark does something to me, namely it agitates me, and drives me away from the Infiniti label.




______________

Infiniti (Nissan) is a highly respected firm making a damn good car. Nissan people are hard working people, but corporate marketing management went astray on this one for my liking, and taking credit that belongs to someone else, which is Renault.

Edited by Sakae, 18 March 2013 - 13:13.


#9 Richard T

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 13:15

There is a highly interesting aspect in the Nissan/Infiniti/Red Bull project though.

Nissan will enter an ALL ELECTRIC car in Le mans in 2014. What if they can carryover that technology to Red Bulls ERS for 2014?

#10 Red17

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 14:10

I fail to understand why Renault is even in F1.


I can not remember seeing a F1 related advertisment from them since 2005.

You just answered your own question.

But in the "old days" it was not called PR, it was simply having an ego and wanting to beat the crap out of all others, that's why you had a parade or marques going to places like Lemans or the WRC, racing costs is not something that showed up in the 2000's. It was expensive back in the day, but the bosses would turn a blind eye because the objective was winning no matter the cost.

The Lotus branding is a legacy from Bahar, we will have to see if they retain the name once the legal timeline is gone.

Edited by Red17, 18 March 2013 - 14:12.


#11 michaelmyers

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 14:18

For any normal roadcar, the participation and success in F1 would not interest me one bit. I fail to understand why Renault is even in F1. I can not remember seeing a F1 related advertisment from them since 2005.

How about this?

Infiniti (Nissan) is a highly respected firm making a damn good car. Nissan people are hard working people, but corporate marketing management went astray on this one for my liking, and taking credit that belongs to someone else, which is Renault.

One could argue that with the Renault-Nissan Alliance there's really no difference.

#12 Alfisti

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 14:26

Infiniti run a heck of a lot of ads here, particularly during the F1 races. They are absolutely HORRIBLE ads too, just terrible but they are clearly trying to make a link. It certainly raises awareness but it's not working on me because a) the ads are just so bad) and b) their new model releases all feature a HIDEOUS front end, bashed all their cars with an ugly stick they have,

#13 muramasa

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 17:48

For any normal roadcar, the participation and success in F1 would not interest me one bit. I fail to understand why Renault is even in F1. I can not remember seeing a F1 related advertisment from them since 2005.


wut



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#14 ApexMouse

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 17:53

I thought it was common knowledge that Lotus F1 has absolutely nothing to do with Lotus cars whatsoever? They don't get a penny from them. Not even that loan rumour that was doing the rounds about a year ago.

#15 Shiroo

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:01

I thought it was common knowledge that Lotus F1 has absolutely nothing to do with Lotus cars whatsoever? They don't get a penny from them. Not even that loan rumour that was doing the rounds about a year ago.


but their drivers usually present Lotus cars. Last time it was Grosjean iN Australia that was at Evora S presentation or some other car

#16 seahawk

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:10

Interesting. Here in Germany Renault does not use F1 at all.





#17 Clatter

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:10

Same about the 'Renault' engines...

Doesn't make me want to buy a renault, doesn't exactly add brand value.. although it must be as Renault surely are making money out of F1.


Same here. I see no connection between what I see on the race track and what I see in the showroom other than the badge.

#18 artista

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:12

Interesting. Here in Germany Renault does not use F1 at all.



In Eurosport Germany, they show pretty often the add with Räikkönen driving the Megane.

#19 Red17

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:16

wut



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This report of my death was an exaggeration.

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#20 muramasa

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:28

One could argue that with the Renault-Nissan Alliance there's really no difference.

yea Renault, not Nissan, uses RedBull to advertize Infiniti, not the other way around.

Always feeling shame that Nissan couldnt reform by themselves in 90s. Marketing and Management is major weakness of Japanese firms and Nissan in particular caught themselves in a horrible manner.
Renault's (and to some extent Infiniti/Nissan's as well) ad tactics is surely slick but somehow I dont feel sort of "heart" in there. I dont know if I feel that way coz I watch F1 or am Japanese, but they've become abit too much marketing oriented for my liking.


#21 TennisUK

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:42

Infiniti is not a well known brand in Europe, so in several years this brand building exercise may actually have whelped build some awareness.

Using the Lotus name was originally intended to do two things - to enable a new team to have more buzz about it and attract third party sponsors through association with a famous name and secondly to build awareness and drive sales of Lotus cars. The second objective was never financially viable as the budgets required for a title sponsorship in F1 for a top team (i.e the Enstone team) are never going to make sense commercially for a small company like Lotus who only have a small target market. Indeed the commercial requirements would have been crippling to the company had an exit not been negotiated. However, the change in terms post-Bahar (when the bean counters went through the financial wreckage he inflicted on the company) make more sense - as it ceased to be a title sponsorship and instead a license to use branding rights in F1 in exchange for a loan which replaced an existing loan - allowing Genii to shuffle budgets around and defer the payment a few years. It also gives the Enstone team a 'name' to help make their marketing proposition more sexy to other sponsors through association (see point 1). In exchange the drivers and team have to do a bit of PR and it means Genii have a couple more years to save up for when the 35m loan matures. The problem the team have now is that the license deal expires a year after the new engine regs kick in which isn't ideal as it does not synchronise with Concorde agreement which has various regulations concerning naming and so on. I would assume they would be seeking either Renault or Honda engines in 2015 as Lotus-Mercedes or Lotus-Ferrari sound rather odd combos...

Another reason why the Enstone coveted the Lotus name is that Genii covet the Lotus brand itself - and wish to purchase the road car company one DRB Hicom lose interest in the debts being accrued there...

* I drove the second Inifiniti imported by Nissan into the UK a few years back...

#22 Burai

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:54

The Lotus branding is a legacy from Bahar, we will have to see if they retain the name once the legal timeline is gone.


It's unlikely isn't it? The only reason Tony Fernandes licensed the name in the first place is because he wanted to buy the car company. Genii are only licensing the name to save face.

#23 TennisUK

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:20

It's unlikely isn't it? The only reason Tony Fernandes licensed the name in the first place is because he wanted to buy the car company. Genii are only licensing the name to save face.

That and the PR the team got from using it. The old Lotus Racing only got about $400k from Proton to use the name IIRC, but they got a heck of a lot more press and fan interest than Virgin and HRT. Genii are also interested in buying the company (for a song as sadly post-Bahar they are pretty worthless) but it also helps with PR and sponsor association due to Team Lotus's past results.

#24 Vieras

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:22

Somehow I got the feeling that even GENII capital isn't quite sure what they are trying to advertise with Lotus F1. I know that Lotus F1 doesn't have anything to do with Lotus Cars (which is owned by Proton) but where does Renault come in? I think Kimi said on TopGear that the car is a Renault but does Renault actually have anything to do with the Enstone team anymore (besides the motor)?

#25 TennisUK

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:30

I think Kimi said on TopGear that the car is a Renault but does Renault actually have anything to do with the Enstone team anymore (besides the motor)?

Nope. Proton also have a 35m loan owed to them by Genii secure by the physical assets of the team - which realistically Genii could repay tomorrow I believe but have better things to do with the money while the loan matures than repay it - particularly if their season continues as it is doing and they earn more FOM money...

#26 4L3X

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:32

I see it from a different point of view. I take it as granted that I'll never touch much F1 technology in my road cars. I see no connection whatsoever between a terrible Renault fwd road car and a beautiful Renault F1. Renault as a car for me is dead. Renault F1 I respect.

For me, they'll never be like Ferrari. Ever. Built their own engines and car, road car factories are related, test track are the same, etc. Ferrari is different.

However, I like what Infiniti is doing. I equate it as "putting money in the sport I like" category. Supporting it, making it better, or even exist.

When I smoked, I preferred Marlboro, JPS and Gitanes for the very same reason. I'll never associate an Infiniti or Renault with F1 as I do with Ferrari. But I may in the future associate Infiniti with Formula 1 the same way I associated Gitanes, Tag-Heuer and Benetton.

As brands that make the sport happen, so I'm sympathetic to them. I rather they do this then sponsor America's cup or Winter games. So they have my full support, as much as possible (I have an Infiniti, but I know this has nothing to do whatsoever with F1, but I sympathize with Nissan/R32/GTR stuff, and now F1 - I like they way they spend their money, what's not to like, really?

Edited by 4L3X, 18 March 2013 - 19:32.


#27 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:36

Nope. Proton also have a 35m loan owed to them by Genii secure by the physical assets of the team - which realistically Genii could repay tomorrow I believe but have better things to do with the money while the loan matures than repay it - particularly if their season continues as it is doing and they earn more FOM money...


I'm confused, why do GENII owe Proton money?

#28 Sausage

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:45

Brand awareness is the point for them anyway, after that they can mould their image. I think it works for the casual viewer somewhat, but building up a name takes a while and might even never happen. What makes a brand tick is not explained very well and will never. Some brands might be succesfull/high quality and get no recognition, while others are awful to the point of infamy or just generic but have a funnier name or whatever and become famous.

Renault recently complained about not getting enough recognition for what they do for F1, well they know what they should do really.

#29 Vieras

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:48

Nope. Proton also have a 35m loan owed to them by Genii secure by the physical assets of the team - which realistically Genii could repay tomorrow I believe but have better things to do with the money while the loan matures than repay it - particularly if their season continues as it is doing and they earn more FOM money...


Well if Renault don't have anything to do with them (besides motor) why is Kimi doing Renault commercials? Isn't Renault text bigger and better placed in Lotus F1 car than it's in RB or Williams?

#30 Clatter

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:50

Somehow I got the feeling that even GENII capital isn't quite sure what they are trying to advertise with Lotus F1. I know that Lotus F1 doesn't have anything to do with Lotus Cars (which is owned by Proton) but where does Renault come in? I think Kimi said on TopGear that the car is a Renault but does Renault actually have anything to do with the Enstone team anymore (besides the motor)?


The employer might be different, but a good proportion of the employees will be the same, and the 2012 car would have been designed while still under Renault ownership.

#31 TennisUK

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:50

I'm confused, why do GENII owe Proton money?


http://www.autoblog....ting-back-at-r/

It was £30m actually, I was slightly inaccurate. It replaces a loan from Snoras for a similar figure agreed a couple of years earlier - itself a loan to pay off another loan from Renault which was agreed in order for Genii to purchase the operation. So Renault essentially lent the money to Genii to buy the team from them. Nice work.

The only inaccuracy I'm aware of in the linked article is that the loan is only secured against the physical assets (wind tunnel, cars, factory etc.) and not the team's F1 entry.

#32 TennisUK

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:53

Well if Renault don't have anything to do with them (besides motor) why is Kimi doing Renault commercials? Isn't Renault text bigger and better placed in Lotus F1 car than it's in RB or Williams?

Renault's commercial terms for supply of engines appear to include using Kimi in marketing activities presumably reducing the cost of the agreement to use them. A bit like using the Renault name on the rear bodywork carries different commercial clout depending on the team using the engines which is in turn deducted from the engine bill.

#33 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 19:56

I find that slightly odd, given that Proton/Lotus are a 'sponsor'. They've earned them more than 30m in advertising equivalent the last two years.

#34 BRG

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:07

The Lotus business is just a mess.

As for Infiniti, I just don't understand it. Why don't they badge the engine as an Infiniti? At the moment the RBR link proves little for either Infiniti or Renault. Where are the Infiniti adverts with Vettel and his toothy grin? Why is it Kimi in that Megane, not Mark? If RBR is Renault's 'works team' as is claimed, how come they aren't used to promote the brand? It seems to be a mess as well....

#35 Vieras

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:10

http://www.autoblog....ting-back-at-r/

It was £30m actually, I was slightly inaccurate. It replaces a loan from Snoras for a similar figure agreed a couple of years earlier - itself a loan to pay off another loan from Renault which was agreed in order for Genii to purchase the operation. So Renault essentially lent the money to Genii to buy the team from them. Nice work.

The only inaccuracy I'm aware of in the linked article is that the loan is only secured against the physical assets (wind tunnel, cars, factory etc.) and not the team's F1 entry.


I am so confused. So what's the link between Renault and Proton loan? By the article I undestood that Proton gave Enstone/Genii £30m loan so they would use the name Lotus F1.

edit: added /Genii

Edited by Vieras, 18 March 2013 - 20:14.


#36 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:14

The Lotus business is just a mess.

As for Infiniti, I just don't understand it. Why don't they badge the engine as an Infiniti? At the moment the RBR link proves little for either Infiniti or Renault. Where are the Infiniti adverts with Vettel and his toothy grin? Why is it Kimi in that Megane, not Mark? If RBR is Renault's 'works team' as is claimed, how come they aren't used to promote the brand? It seems to be a mess as well....


Does the UK not get the Vettel Infiniti TV ads? We even get them in America...

#37 Clatter

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:23

Does the UK not get the Vettel Infiniti TV ads? We even get them in America...


Never seen one.


#38 Vieras

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:27

Never seen one.


As a non British a quess that Brits see Vettel as a rival, there's no American drivers in F1.

#39 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:48

Someone might want to buy a Mercedes because of Jenson or Lewis but I don't think anyone doesn't want to buy an Infiniti because of a rival driver.

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#40 plumtree

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:54

I remember watching this Vettel-Infiniti commercial on SSF1 last year.

Reading this thread, one can see why Renault F1 lamented the other day their lack of marketing efforts to capitalize their success in recent years.

#41 Red17

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 20:58

Why don't they badge the engine as an Infiniti?

Because Renault have said no. There is also the possibility that a renaming was denied by higher powers after the recent renaming issues. As it is, both names can use Vettel.

At the moment the RBR link proves little for either Infiniti or Renault. Where are the Infiniti adverts with Vettel and his toothy grin? Why is it Kimi in that Megane, not Mark? If RBR is Renault's 'works team' as is claimed, how come they aren't used to promote the brand?

Let's see... Kimi=1 WDC; Sebastian=3 WDC

#42 Sakae

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 21:32

Same here. I see no connection between what I see on the race track and what I see in the showroom other than the badge.

Yes you do (subconsciously); it's brand name recognition, just ask experts. When Renault name comes up, you aren't thinking about tomato juice, although I tend to agree, that between hearing a brand-name and make you wanting to take the trip to a show room is somewhat another matter.

I do like their road car engines, but Nissan unfortunately makes better ones (at least powertrain, no doubt about that).
I do not like their vehicle engineering on small cars, because there are many others of better quality.
I did like however Renault's F1 engines in the past. Just supper!

#43 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 21:38

I do not like their vehicle engineering on small cars, because there are many others of better quality.

In Australia at least you see many businesspeople (former Golf gti drivers) in Megane Sports, the latest model seems quite popular. :)

#44 JRizzle86

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 21:51

This kinda highlights the weird situation where the Lotus team has no direct links to Lotus the car manufacturer neither to the historic team Lotus. It is effectively giving Group Lotus free advertising on the world stage and at a higher prominence due to their recent upturn in performance. Free advertising that questions why the F1 team would leave such a huge space of advertising space to a dead sponsor. A dead sponsor that could be about to liquidated. Then you realise that it is because the team is called Lotus and not only is it a complete debacle to change a team name in F1, what do you name the team instead. Enstone F1?

Edited by JRizzle86, 18 March 2013 - 21:52.


#45 packapoo

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:40

I didn't vote on the Infiniti question simply because, really, who cares?
The marketing people behind this have made a choice; they're the ones ultimately who have to justify.

As to the Lotus, resounding NOOOOO.

#46 TennisUK

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 19:28

I am so confused. So what's the link between Renault and Proton loan? By the article I undestood that Proton gave Enstone/Genii £30m loan so they would use the name Lotus F1.

Very nearly - it also removed Group Lotus's obligation to pay the 20m per annum for the title sponsorship. Originally Renault ws owned by Renault - post Singapore-gate they partially sold out to Genii in a bit of a hurry. 12 months on and Genii purchased the remainder of the shares financed with a loan provided to them by Renault. A year on Genii paid off this loan with another loan from eastern European bank Snoras. This was during a period in which Snoras and Genii were looking at purchasing Saab from GM, to no avail. Genii's team also then get title sponsorship from Group Lotus during Bahar's reign to the tune (supposedly) of £20m per year though it is at best unclear how much of that they received in year one - supposedly very little indeed. In year 2 the deal continues but by Melbourne Bahar is on his was out of Lotus (officially or not) and the deal is restructured - so instead of a normal sponsorship deal Proton financed another loan to Genii to pay off the Snoras loan and the sponsorship requirements of the previous Bahr deal became null and void. Group Lotus paying 20m/year on a title sponsorship was always going to be total fantasy anyway and the far this situation seems to be more sensible for both though I can't imagine Genii retaining the name for any longer than they have to unless they get a sniff at owning the car company - which after the damage Bahar did on the company's finances is quite possible since they are virtually worthless, and thus potentially am inexpensive company to purchase - albeit an expensive one to finance longer term (as DRB Hicom have found out).

#47 Clatter

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 19:33

Yes you do (subconsciously); it's brand name recognition, just ask experts. When Renault name comes up, you aren't thinking about tomato juice, although I tend to agree, that between hearing a brand-name and make you wanting to take the trip to a show room is somewhat another matter.

I do like their road car engines, but Nissan unfortunately makes better ones (at least powertrain, no doubt about that).
I do not like their vehicle engineering on small cars, because there are many others of better quality.
I did like however Renault's F1 engines in the past. Just supper!


No I don't. I am not fooled in anyway into thinking there is any connection between the race team and the road going cars. Just as I don't see any connection between the tyres used by F1 and the road going ones, other than the colour. I have never bought a car, tyres, oil etc. etc. because of a perceived connection to F1.


#48 One

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 23:23

No I don't. I am not fooled in anyway into thinking there is any connection between the race team and the road going cars. Just as I don't see any connection between the tyres used by F1 and the road going ones, other than the colour. I have never bought a car, tyres, oil etc. etc. because of a perceived connection to F1.


Well that is more coming from racing attitudes. Road car marketing got more to do with infiltration to none racing customers, namely family members.

For the sport minded owners, or potential owners big name on formula one car is apparently a huge attraction to the brand awareness. This is the same to tyhe one that who cares the image on technology and winner's mentality. Formula One is huge winner's game, so no matter how less successful it might be, if you see Lotus name on the grid, Lotus owners will be happy.

But the price of the car is as such that sometime or quite often it needs consensus from the family members. It might be a smart choice from car maker's marketing department to focus on winning sympathy of family member on TV in the living room and the owner on special program or special magazines.

I assume for Lotus the opinion of family members are worth nothing as it is often the second car.
Infinity is setting up business and stimulating Nissan owners to give superior identity to mass car maker Renault. Therefore Renault do not like that big Infinity logo is on the RBR. Renault will not allow Infinity to badge Renault engine on the RBR as Infinity. But the logo will do the work.

I got to say that neither Ferrari nor Lamborghini has TV ads necessary.

#49 Alfisti

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 00:50

The Lotus business is just a mess.
Where are the Infiniti adverts with Vettel and his toothy grin?


All over the TV here and they are just ****ing DREADFUL ads .... i cannot believe how bad they are.

#50 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:54

I have never bought a car, tyres, oil etc. etc. because of a perceived connection to F1.

Would you prefer Sunew tyres or Pirelli tyres?
Would you prefer Multi-Vis oil or Mobil 1?
Would you prefer a Chery J1 or a Renault Clio?

There! It does at least create the "reputable well-known brand" as opposed to the no-name crudbox. :)