The Grand Tour: AUTOMOTIVE EMPIRES and SOCIAL NETWORKS

Kenny Brightman
Branding

THE WAIT IS OVER.

Every so often the world has something positive, global, and uniting to gather around with cheers and camaraderie. Think Olympics. This time, however, envision a culture of automotive fans building an empire for its automotive jesters… who coincidentally serve as their kings. Enter, The Grand Tour… and beyond.

In this blog series, I’ll brake down an analyze their strategy, kick on the high beams for what you can learn from their approach, and show you why I believe they are the ones to finally nail omni-channel media in a big way.

The Grand Tour, an Amazon Original, has won the hearts of the world the week prior to Thanksgiving here in the US, and the galaxy is in waiting for their third weekly episode to come out.
Now, the day after, November 28th, 2016 … also known globally as Cyber Monday, they launched their VERY OWN automotive social network; DRIVETRIBE. Brilliant!

HUMBLE ORIGINS

(photo BBC Sports)

(photo BBC Sports)

Let’s start at the beginning.

From the creative, strategic, and humorous minds (right there, they’ve won over my heart and other sensor functions) the former cast of Top Gear, comes The Grand Tour. The BBC’s former golden children, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond have relaunched their efforts, and it’s a lesson in marketing like we’ve never seen. For perspective, BBC’s Top Gear was the WORLD’S MOST WATCHED FACTUAL SHOW. Period. Born from the 70’s car era TV show, Fifth Gear, then, shuffling out as Top Gear, and finally the Top Gear reboot we know as the modern variant starting in 2002. A mix of locker room razzing, live studio audience to heckle, car testing and torture, celebrity appearances, gratuitous damage and tire smoke, made up games/challenges, and bundled together with a healthy dose of serious comedy care of overly dramatic cinematography layered with voice over lunacy that crushes Honest Movie Trailers in every way. Add facts in there somewhere.

       This is the recipe for global domination.

This automotive band of content creating gypsies have done it again. From the largely public fallout and difference of opinion with the BBC directors (and a drunken punch), the crew split to do it again. REBOOT.
After courting suitors for months, shrouding themselves in secrecy and rumors, and finally arriving on a name, Grand Tour was born under the wing of Amazon… Prime/Video to be specific. If the automotive journalist gods ever smiled outside of the joy of sliding sideways in some exotic sports car, it was on that day when ink hit paper. Gold, just gold.

Now here’s where it gets good, AND where we can learn… A METRIC TONNE.

(photo: Motor Trend)

(photo: Motor Trend)

 

Amazon’s strategic advantage is their… distribution network. Yes.
Need anything? They probably have it and can send it to you; to your door or streaming online. They are built on distribution.
(They also have deep pockets)

All decisions were are finalized earlier in 2016, and they begin shooting with a release date in November of the same year. Streaming on their Amazon Prime platform, it’s free for the first year… [gateway drug alert], and that’s only the tip of this strategic iceberg they’ve constructed. Now we’re past the second episode, they are crushing all streaming records for the Amazon service. Surprise, surprise.

The Grand Tour episode filming (Photo: Amaoz)

SOCIAL MEDIA… OMNI PRESENT

Here’s how they will win bigger than we can imagine, and what we can learn. I’ll be writing a series on what they’ve done so far, and how they’ll take this into a global phenomenon with speed and accuracy. They just launched their social venture; DRIVETRIBE. If there was a day that people will be latched to their desktop and mobile screens, that would be Cyber Monday, and furthers the argument that they are hyper strategic with their plans. Yes, they built an entire social platform around them; that’s forethought.
Beautifully timed, expertly executed, and a ground swell that will be a case study for generations to come, this is a new era of omni-channel content and marketing.
The DRIVETRIBE social network uses the same promise and premise of the show to showcase exciting automotive everything, bring the world together via cars, and build a huge audience geared around excitement or user generated content.

 

DRIVETRIBE logo

 

The anticipation of it being opened to the public was causing a little nail biting for some, while those ‘in the know’ were granted early VIP access. Code-based access was passed down from the top level influencers onward into the masses. Supply and demand at it’s finest.

DRIVETRIBE

 

Over the coming weeks in this series, I’ll be breaking down the timing, approach, and launch of what this band of car devouring madmen have constructed, and what we can learn by watching, listening, and analyzing their strategy. From foundation through launch, tactics, and techniques, what you can apply to your business marketing strategy.

Welcome to The Grand Tour: Deconstructed.

Next up: The Grand Tour: Episode One

 

If you’re into this automotive stuff, join me on my social profile and ‘TRIBES’ HERE on DRIVETRIBE + join the DAYTON CARS AND COFFEE Tribe to stay in tune with adventures of the members.

 

 

 

 

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Written by:
Kenny Brightman

A native Daytonian, an Alumni of The Ohio State University in Industrial Design, and an avid business enthusiast. Kenny is focused on creative approaches to marketing, business, and branding. He prides himself on strategic, aggressive growth for Lion+Panda, and for their clients. Outside of business, his passion for everything automotive lead him to found Dayton Cars and Coffee.

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