We were asked by Wrangler to promote its sponsorship of the Dale Earnhardt Number One race car. It seemed easy enough until we started to peel back the layers. The target audience was western wear consumers who have a well-defined impression of the Wrangler brand. These consumers felt like they knew Wrangler. Their only association with Wrangler sponsorships was for professional rodeo. Wrangler has sponsored rodeo for more than 50 years. Our message would need to be communicated across a variety of regional markets on a rotating basis, throughout the 10-month NASCAR season. There was one more challenge. We were asked to somehow connect Wrangler’s sponsorship of rodeo to its new sponsorship of racing.
Our solution was simple. We created a promotional program under the banner Harness the Horsepower. It included everything from point-of-purchase to TV. Consumers were greeted in western wear stores with P-O-P that featured the race car bursting toward them with flames, smoke, and four angry horses in hot pursuit. The counter cards invited them to enter a drawing for tickets to an upcoming race in their market, and offered a free Wrangler Racing lap timer with purchase. We provided local newspaper ads, live-read radio scripts, and designed the Wrangler Racing logo.
An image-building TV spot featured a rodeo ring complete with cowboys, a clown, and something pretty mean behind the gate. The voiceover said, “After 50 years of sponsoring professional rodeo, you learn a few things about horsepower.” Then Earnhardt’s car bursts through the gate and chases the clown around in circles.
An image print ad with a shot of the car with the Wrangler logo on the trunk carries the headline: Once again our logo makes a rear end look impressive.