London Grand Prix concept scoops top award for Santander
When Santander launched its speculative proposal for an exhilarating Formula 1 night race through the sprawling streets of London, it sounded too good to be true.
Just how, we imagined, would some of the busiest streets in Europe be uprooted to create a street track that took in all the major sights - passing Buckingham Palace, along The Mall, skirting the Houses of Parliament, and even travelling through Admiralty Arch?
If the fiction were unlikely to ever be made real, Santander's pitch, conceived last summer on the eve of the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix and ahead of a breathlessly busy and bustling summer for the nation's capital, left very little to the imagination.
Conceived using state-of-the-art computer graphics, with input from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, the concept felt pregnant with possibility - and many got carried along with the dream.
That those edges were blurred so successfully was down to the creative vision of Santander's PR and sponsorship activation agency, Sidhu & Simon Communications. Indeed, the concept last week scooped top honours in the Best Use of Public Relations in a Sponsorship Campaign category at the prestigious Hollis Sponsorship Awards - marketing's 'Oscars'.
Speaking about the award, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said:
"We have always worked keenly with all our partners to embrace the notion of innovative, striking and dynamic marketing. Santander's conception and execution of the 'London Grand Prix' was exceptional, and it was vividly brought to life with the cooperation and assistance of Jenson, Lewis and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes marketing team.
"To see the idea further recognised by the marketing industry's top people is incredibly gratifying, and a just reward for the vision and creativity shown by our friends at Santander.
"As a team, we will continue to push the boundaries in this dynamically changing field to ensure that all our partners feel similarly empowered to engage the market so engagingly and creatively."
Santander marketing director Keith Moor added:
"Santander and McLaren are built on a winning mentality - and we are always looking for news ways to push the boundaries of our partnership to bring real value to fans of the sport and beyond. McLaren believed in our creative vision and helped to bring it life in spectacular fashion."