Sometimes, all the new technology that’s created to “energize” horse racing makes many go way off track as the very basics of marketing the sport to those tired of things like plodding paddock parades are forgotten in the rush to develop apps and saps and “engagement” via twitter, Facebook etc.
The tail starts wagging the dog.
Zac Purton told us to take a look at what Richard Hughes has posted on his Facebook page- and what has been captured through his Helmetcam.
Of course, Helmetcam has been around for a number of years, but not ever been used creatively.
It’s like twitter. In their urgent need to “engage” with racegoers, racing clubs tweet, but like those who become overnight bloggers, it’s not that easy to get loyal followers and have all those blogs have any impact.
Sorry, but tweets from racing clubs come across as corporate press releases, mercifully kept down to 140 words.
They’re as irrelevant to most racing enthusiasts just as websites for music companies are to music fans.
There has always been a resentment towards the corporate world and what it has to say- especially on twitter.
Richard Hughes’ clip succeeds where many others in racing have failed by being a creative and welcome relief from those twenty minutes of inane chatter and vapid viewing to many who wish to, literally, have a new perspective on racing- the people, the fashion, eavesdropping on conversations plus what jockeys go through before, during and after the races.
If one needs to bring “glamour” to horse racing, what we now can see through the eyes of Richard Hughes is a damn good start.
It’s more than food for thought. It’s something concrete and which can work brilliantly in the online world.
This is where there is a need for a forward-thinking racing club like the HKJC to have its own INTER-ACTIVE racing channel- and a new creative team- that, apart from featuring original content, invites viewers to send in their own racing content- whatever this might be.
Teaming up with Google or/and YouTube to turn this into reality? Why not?
If the heads of Google ever took the time to understand the success of racing in Hong Kong- Hong Kong, China- they’d do somersaults and backflips to get in at ground level and form a partnership.
At the moment there is this emphasis on social media and apps whereas the most “innovative” ways of showcasing the main attraction- the races- are some slo-motion and aerial shots where one sees some fleas running around on terra firma.
What this shows is technology being the idea and the key driver in the creative process.
The basics of advertising, writing and marketing where creative people with new thinking and something new to say and offer must return to creating ideas.
If not, just as Bryan Ferry was a Slave To Love, we become slaves to technology in a vain- and vain in its different meanings- to be relevant- but missing the key objectives of the business at hand- in this case, the racing business.