Client: Mercedes-Benz Canada
Motorsport competition is based on experience, tactics, and skill.
It’s one sport where all athletes, regardless of gender, compete head-to-head. Yet in 2022, just 1.5 per cent of licensed motorsport drivers worldwide were female and there hasn’t been a female driver in F1 in nearly 50 years. Mercedes-AMG sought to challenge the “status quo” impression of what a race car driver looks like by shining the spotlight on a line-up of female Canadian race car drivers during Formula One (F1).
The agency undertook data-mining initiatives including in-depth interviews with athletes
and coaches to determine factors impacting gender inequality in motorsport. These included lack of opportunities and role models, and insufficient mainstream media support. Thus, our campaign narrative championed the principle: If you can see it, you can believe it. It showcased the personal experiences of female drivers, focusing on Demi Chalkias as a seasoned pro, Nicole Havrda as a 16-year-old rising star, and their dynamic coach. The multi-channel campaign included a “hot laps” experience for media and influencers during F1 weekend, a landing page on Mercedes-Benz.ca, media relations and media integrations with TSN and The Social and paid digital. We also partnered with Kayla Grey, a vocal advocate for women in sports, who amplified the campaign through TSN and The Shift. Content creation included an interview with Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton.
This program was highly successful, generating 282 media stories, resulting in
85,227,200 media impressions, a MRP qualitative score of 81.5 per cent and a CPC of $0.02.
Paid media over delivered by 20 per cent resulting in 20,238,553 impressions. Internal tracking showed brand favourability and contributed to ongoing barrier breaking. In 2023, Demi raced a Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the FEL Sports Car Championship Canada marking the first female to compete in this class with this series, and Nicole competed in the Formula Regional Americas and the Formula Pro USA series. The campaign was also recognized at the 2023 CPRS ACE awards, earning Gold in the Best Use of Media Relations Large Budget (over 50K) category, and Silver in the Canadian Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Campaign of the Year category.