The other day, under the title “Livery real estate” I wrote in my JSBM weekly newsletter about how Formula 1 teams have not been using their liveries very successfully and that this may now begin to change.
“There is much talk in F1 circles at the moment about McLaren switching to a new papaya orange livery in 2017, harking back to the 1960s when the team ran in that colour, prior to the arrival of sponsorship which dictated that McLarens ran in the red and white of Marlboro.
“The Philip Morris sponsorship of McLaren ran from 1974 until 1996 before the tobacco company finally gave up and shifted its money to Ferrari. As a result McLaren lost not only its money but also its brand image. Up to that point McLarens were red and white.
“Ron Dennis and his marketing men needed a new image and settled on the idea of a silvery concept fading to black, but providing “windows” for sponsors. Thus the McLaren brand edged towards silver (for Mercedes-Benz) and then headed to black, so as not to be confused with Mercedes…
This meant that McLaren no longer had an instantly-recognisable livery. Ferrari has stayed red to a lesser or greater extent while Williams has been blue and white for most of its existence, with an odd glitch in 1998 and 1999 when the team went red with Winfield sponsorship. In recent times, trends in livery design have been fiddly with designers apparently forgetting the value of primary colours: in F1 terms, Ferrari is red, Lotus was always black, Renault was yellow and Ligier blue. This means that today green, blue, orange and even purple are all available. Those who remember the iconic Jordan 191 or the 1994 Simtek know that the use of primary colours can be very effective.”
There are now suggestions coming out of Italy that Scuderia Toro Rosso is going to switch from the dark blue that it has used to a new lighter colour, which will help to sell Red Bull’s sugar-free product, as opposed to its usual drink. This has existed since 2003 and has all the same ingredients of Red Bull except sugar, which is replaced by sweeteners. It is still only a small part of the overall Red Bull sales which amounted to $43 billion in 2015. The company has a 30 percent share of the global energy drink market and as such is obviously likely to be a target for sugar-free campaigns and such things as taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, based on the links between sugar and heart disease. This debate seems to be ramping up and so drinks companies are responding by trying to build more sales of sugar-free products.
A switch to a lighter blue for one of the F1 teams thus makes perfect sense.
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