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never.no has announced that Sprint in conjunction with Leo Burnett used never.no’s Social TV Advertising platform, Sync, during TNT’s Wide Open coverage of NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, Florida to power the world’s first real time Twitter-race during a sponsored segment.
The 60-second race, billed as “the shortest race in NASCAR history”, ran during the live Wide Open coverage of the last 30 laps of the race. Fans were asked to Tweet their favorite driver’s car number, along with the hashtag #Sprint60. Each Tweet increased the driver’s speed, pushing them faster along the track as viewers watched the progress live. This was a direct call to action for watchers to not just participate in an example of Social TV gamification during an Ad spot, but also created a social share benefit in real time.
“NASCAR racing is legendary for separating kids from grownup drivers”, said Lars Lauritzsen, never.no’s CEO. “The Sprint 60 separated kids from grownups in the social TV technology field. It’s a prime example of what our Sync product is all about: 1st/2nd screen synchronicity, real-time broadcast graphics rendering, and individual viewer dialogue. It was a bold segment to put on air, since there was no margin for error. I’m very proud and grateful to TNT, Sprint and Leo Burnett who believed in our technology and our crew. Social TV advertising may revolutionize how sponsors relate to broadcast, so watch this space in the months to come.”
Never.no’s Social TV platform was used to harvest the incoming #Sprint60 hashtags and calculate the speed for each driver. The real time velocity data was fed directly into a Chyron graphics engine and powered the on-screen race for the duration of the voting. The top five drivers at any time, voted by fans in real time, appeared on TV. Icons of the top five appeared on a virtual race track and their position in the race was based on the continuously incoming votes. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Sprint 60 Unlimited race, receiving a trophy and $10,000 donation to his charity of choice.
The Ad placement’s strength lay utilizing a perfect trifecta for driving user attention. It created an interactive mode of engagement, could not be skipped due to an integration with the programming and parlayed the ability of second screens to drive multiple viewer touch-points in a fun and intriguing manner.
To promote the program, Sprint aired 15-second teasers during TNT’s pre-race coverage, encouraging fans to find out more details about the ‘race’. A second promotional spot providing more information aired during the first half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Within the final 30 laps, another 30-second spot featuring Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon was shown, signaling the start of the Sprint 60 Unlimited. Fans were encouraged to Tweet their favorite driver’s car number along with the #Sprint60 hashtag as often as they could for during a 60 second-span.
"never.no's technology was a perfect way to get NASCAR Sprint Cup series fans involved through the second screen while engaging them with immediate results on the first. The platform really came through for us in a big way." Stated Jeff Candido, ACD, Team Sprint.