How The Daily Mirror helped Scottish & Newcastle promote the John Smith's People's Race.
In the third year as headline sponsor of the John Smith's Grand National - the world's biggest horse race - Scottish & Newcastle wanted to create an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the British public. The John Smith's People's Race gave members of the public this opportunity: to ride a real racehorse in a charity race at Aintree in front of 150,000 spectators.
The objective for John Smith's was to build on its sponsorship association with the race and amplify the 'No Nonsense' positioning of the brand.
Firstly, John Smith's had to recruit people to take part in the race. With their strong ties with horse racing, the Daily Mirror was the perfect partner to make this possible. Recruitment was via a four page pullout. A series of advertorials then tracked the contestants through their intensive training programme which led up to the race. The Mirror's sport editorial team designated one journalist as "the Official People's Race correspondent" delivering more than ten pages of editorial. The project received ten weeks of joined-up coverage ahead of the three-day meeting.
-28% increase of respondents associating 'No Nonsense' with John Smith's, with a 23% increase amongst male respondents.
-15% of all respondents associated John Smith's with the sport; this rose to 33%amongst horse racing enthusiasts.
-13% of all respondents spontaneously mentioned John Smith's association with the Grand National.
-John Smith's attracted the most spontaneous mentions amongst Mirror readers against all other brands
The project received genuine and enthusiastic editorial support. The John Smith's People's Race provides a great example of how editorial, when used appropriately, can be a hugely effective tool.