Opinion: Formula E’s latest ad crashes out

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Matt Prior says he is disappointed in how Formula E is presented in its latest promo video.

It starts with race footage, which is promising enough, but the latest promotional video for Formula E takes a wild turn from there. The leaders crash. Oh no! What will become of them?

Not to worry, they’re fine. So fine, in fact, that they leap out of their cars and begin a heavily visually effected dash through the race’s host city on foot. Into buildings, onto rooftops, dashing into a restaurant kitchen, crashing over a diner’s table and then hurtling through a plate-glass window. All on foot, except for the bit on horseback (what?), before our leader finds themself back on track, right by the finish line, with time to see the rest of the field approaching before sprinting across the line to victory.

What exactly is Formula E trying to tell us here? That race footage from its previous season isn’t worth a one-minute highlights reel? That these cars are so slow that you can run (or gallop) around a city quicker than them? It feels like a video-game advert that runs a ‘not actual gameplay’ disclaimer.

I’ve watched a bit of Formula E in recent seasons, and while it’s not my primary motorsport choice, it strikes me as deserving of better than this.

Compare and contrast with my motorsport of choice: the Australian Supercars championship, which last week put out its 2022 season trailer. Short and to the point, it’s filled exclusively with last season’s event footage with commentary bites from the world-class pairing of Neil Crompton and Mark Skaife. I would have put in one or two cleaner overtakes to punctuate some of the dramatic comings together, but it’s a 39-second snapshot of what makes the flagship Antipodean race series so compelling.

Matt Prior

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