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2019 Gold Best Use of Email


Agency: Ogilvy London

Client: Formula 1

Campaign Name: Turning F1 email into entertainment

Campaign Overview

F1 has more than 500 million global TV viewers, but the lack of an effective direct relationship with fans meant no opportunity to sell F1 services.

The brief for 2018-19 was to give the F1 brand a voice and reach fans directly.


Liberty Media bought F1 in 2017. Its aim: put fans back in the driving seat.

Leading up to 2018, F1 had neglected fans, focusing on wooing pay broadcasters and brokering deals.

Over a decade TV viewership had declined.

The challenge was bring to life the voice of the brand with fans, create direct engagement and sell services.

This involved launching not free ways to enjoy F1 but also a new TV service.

Social listening and fan panels confirmed supporters do not think of themselves as customers.

F1 needed to earn their trust, treating them as a community, not simply a target market. This meant fuelling passions.

F1 can be impenetrable, so Ogilvy London helped fans get into its world.

Like the Marvel universe, F1 is more fun with the back story, so fans were invited into the season as a drama series.

Each Grand Prix became the next episode in an unmissable saga, with the drivers, managers and circuits as the characters.


They created F1's first fan engagement programme, built on the foundations of a hyper-responsive email campaign.

It recast conventional eCRM as a fast-paced entertainment channel.

Fans were invited to get closer to the sport by fuelling their passions, told from the point of view of an insider.

F1 fans want to know everything, right away.

To nurture and grow the fan email base, they were given a season of sensational stories. Up-to-the-minute, with all the edge-of-the-seat action they expect from F1.

The challenge was to capture the slick but gritty F1 voice in the email copy.

The style was short and staccato to add drama and reflect the intensity: getting to the point, fast.


The campaign drove ROI of 6:1, doubling the average fan value and trebling the value of the most engaged fans.

It delivered 292% more F1 TV subscribers than the control and an average open rate of 31%.

Emails directed quality traffic to with an average dwell time of 4.37 minutes.

The F1 direct channel allowed the agency and brand to observe fans: content they clicked, shared and read. A robust test-and-learn program optimised emails’ content and copy.

Fans got more of what they wanted: F1 stories, evocative hooks, teasing headlines and hardcore tech content.

As people began to share parts of the emails on social media, the design was simplified and sharability increased.

The Team

Jackson Russ, Business Director, Ogilvy London - George Stride, Account Director, Ogilvy London - Coby Walter, Programme Director, Ogilvy London - Martin Delamere, Experience Planning and Deputy Content Director, Ogilvy London - Frank Duck, Data Strategy Director, Ogilvy London - Andrew Stephenson, Experience Planning Partner, Ogilvy London - Jack Grimmer, Technology Consultants, Ogilvy London - Duncan Butt, Technology Consultants, Ogilvy London - Angus George, Creative Director, Ogilvy London - Johnny Watters, Creative Director, Ogilvy London - Ben Evenett, Creative (Art), Ogilvy London - James Roberts, Creative (Copy), Ogilvy London - Chris Lawlor, Creative (Copy), Ogilvy London - Sam Hinckley, Creative (Art), Ogilvy London - Will Whittington, Designer, Ogilvy London

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