ING, Renault activate Formula One fever in India

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 07, 2008
The companies are bringing the ING Renault F1 Team road show to India for the first time

Renault & #BANNER1 & # and ING are two brands closely connected with Formula One (F1) racing around the world. Now that the '700 Days to Go for the Commonwealth Games 2010' campaign has been kicked off by the organising committee, these brands are getting together to create awareness for F1 in India. For the first time, the F1 Grand Prix will be held in India in 2010.

Also for the first time, the ING Renault F1 Team road show is being held in the country on November 8 and 9 in the Capital. Apart from displaying the F1 cars at Rajpath, there will be a parade and stunts performed by the drivers. The Indian Army is also participating in the road show with sky diving and paragliding feats.

Apart from India, the circuit for the road show this year includes Kiev, Lisbonne and Sao Paulo.

ING is also actively promoting its association with F1 through various on-ground activities in major cities.

Speaking at a press conference, Suresh Kalmadi, member of Parliament and chairman of the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games 2010, said that the F1 road show and the Delhi Half Marathon (sponsored by Bharti Airtel) are two major activities marking the countdown to the Games.

Sylvian Bilaine, country general manager and managing director, Renault India, said, "Renault has been committed to sports since the past 10 years." He added that the F1 road show has been running successfully since 2005. The Mexico road show held in 2007, for instance, drew a crowd of 300,000.

Speaking about ING's association with F1, Amit Gupta, director, marketing and communications, ING Vysya Life, said that ING identified F1 as 'the' sport to associate with as it stands for team spirit. The association gives ING high on-track and on-car visibility as well as an opportunity for global branding.

Renault and ING are jointly marketing the event with a TV campaign on 20 national channels. The two companies have a contract of three years for the event.

In a chat with afaqs!, Gupta says that apart from TV, print and radio will also be used to promote the event. Besides this, the company is doing mall activations in five cities (Gurgaon, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata); an F1 car is displayed in the mall and people can get their photos clicked in it.

The activation is helping both ING Vysya Life and ING Vysya Bank generate leads. A company spokesperson claims that the Lucknow activity itself generated 3,000 leads.

ING Vysya Bank has also created a special account, ING Formula Savings Account, to promote the sport amongst the youth.

Speaking to afaqs!, Sonalee Panda, head of product and marketing, ING Vysya Bank, says that the account is targeted at young professionals, estimated to be around seven million. The account offers benefits such as discounts at night clubs and retail outlets. It also allows customers to participate in a contest and meet F1 stars.

"We launched the programme three months ago and are expecting to have 100,000 customers in the next six months," says Panda.

The bank has launched a website,, where visitors can play games, download ringtones and wallpapers, and learn about the F1 road show.

Panda informs afaqs! that ING will be teaming up with ESPN in December to organise more F1 activities in the country.