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Brands Untapped’s Billy Langsworthy looks at how brands of all kinds were being showcased at last weekend’s Goodwood Revival show.
Last week, I spent the day at Goodwood Revival, a celebration of classic British motor racing, vintage fashion, and the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme.
Many guest arrive donned in vintage attire from the fifties and sixties, and those not at Revival can still check out races on ITV across the weekend.
Goodwood Revival has also fast become a place for motor brands – as well as brands not tied to cars – to showcase themselves in fun, creative, experiential ways.
The most prominent brands at Goodwood Revival are, of course, the car brands. BMW had a working garage while Porsche was back at Goodwood with a classic garage of its own, full of parts and gifts for Porsche fans to buy.
Porsche wasn’t the only retro garage at Goodwood Revival as engine oil brand Motul returned to the show with a vintage garage pop-up.
The Motul garage featured classic racing photography, retro Motul adverts and also stocked oil – including vintage Goodwood-branded Motul cans.
Outside of oil, the Motul garage also showcased the brand’s move into apparel, with shirts available to buy. Apparel was also displayed outside the pop-up garage, in line with the brand’s recent aim to establish itself as a lifestyle brand.
Away from the garage, Motul had a prominent presence across Goodwood Revival. A Motul Racing Lab, housed inside a vintage van, allowed competitors, teams and media the chance to analyse their oil and get an insight on how their vehicle’s internals are.
Elsewhere, Motul oil drums were positioned outside bars as handy pit-stops for punters to rest their drinks on – an image which makes the idea of dedicated pop-up Motul bars something that could thrive with petrolheads in this kind of environment
One of the most interesting aspects of the day was seeing how brands with no obvious link to the world of classic racing found smart, creative ways to engage with the Goodwood Revival audience.
Ice cream brand Wall’s embraced the vintage feel of the show with a pop-up activation, complete with beach huts, sand and stripy deck chairs.
Elsewhere, Bendicks and Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses also welcomed visitors to their own vintage themed pop-up stores.
Champagne brand Verve Clicquot had a presence with a champagne bar; an activation that felt all the more authentic thanks to its positioning right next to a live band and dancefloor featuring sounds – and moves – straight out of the fifties.
A brand with some of the most creative brand extensions at the show was Sky Cinema, which once again brought its Revival Cinema to Goodwood.
The cinema swapped out traditional seating for a suite of classic cars and deckchairs, giving film fans the chance to enjoy classics like Grease and Back to the Future from the comfort of their own Cadillac.
Sky Cinema also hosted a ‘studio tour’ experience that walked visitors through several scenes from a film that sounded a lot like Grease.
Each part of the Sky Cinema studio showed off a car from the associated scene, as well as having interactive areas, like a bandstand and the ‘crazy house’.
Through both its Revival Cinema and its studio tour, Sky Cinema found creative ways to tap into the Goodwood audience – and vibe – that made sense and felt authentic.
Sky Cinema has a good track record with this kind of thing. In 2018, the brand celebrated the bike and cars of Steve McQueen with an exhibition at Revival showcasing vehicles from The Great Escape, Bullitt and Le Mans. In 2019, Sky Cinema turned its attention to The Italian Job, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film with a studio tour featuring its famous cars.
Whether in partnership with Sky Cinema or as a solo presence, I imagine other movie, TV and toy brands might also embrace Goodwood Revival soon. From Hot Wheels to Batman (Adam West era), any brand that fits with the vintage nature of the show and boasts iconic vehicles will have a built-in audience ready to engage with it there.
Away from the show itself, brands also found opportunities to showcase themselves to the Revival faithful in print. Harper’s Bazaar had kiosks around the show giving out copies of the magazine, complete with a special collectors’ edition cover made exclusively for Goodwood Revival.
Elsewhere, in the Revival programme, The Beano had a presence with a Dennis the Menace strip that saw Dennis head to Revival for the day. The collaboration looked to be celebrating Dennis the Menace’s 70th anniversary, and the programme also detailed an offer for Revival visitors to get three months of The Beano for £10.
It was exciting to see how brands are using a show like Goodwood Revival to connect with this audience and bolster brand awareness. While the car brands themselves are a great fit, it was encouraging that so many brands without an ‘obvious’ link to Revival found ways to launch activations that made sense – and were well attended.
One area I thought might tick both the vintage and petrol-head boxes would be an animation showcase, bringing iconic cartoon cars to life at the show. The Flintstones’ Cavemobile, Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine… The cars of Wacky Races have already made appearances at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed in the past, so who knows!
Revival’s brand values and overall look and feel is something I imagine Goodwood is very careful to protect when it comes to band opportunities at the show. While many brands have iconic cars, not all will also have the vintage ties it would need to feel at home at Revival in the way that something like Grease has.
Then there’s brands like Fast & Furious. A brand that launched in 2001 doesn’t seem like an ideal fit for Revival, but it’s a series that clearly has a lot of love for classic cars. Would a showcase of Dom’s 1970 Dodge Charger, the 1967 Ford Mustang from Tokyo Drift or Fast Five’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport feel out of place?
Either way, it was great to see so many licensors using Goodwood Revival as a means of showcasing their brands in creative, authentic ways – and I’m excited to see how this side of Revival grows moving forward.
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