Monday, September 15, 2008

Three Boys and Their Toys

Piotr Jakubowski, a regular commenter on KRConnect, sent me an email with a run down on why the British TV show Top Gear is one of his Lovemarks. A graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in Marketing and a BA in Advertising, Piotr was an account management intern at Saatchi & Saatchi New York last summer. He’s also worked in market research and creative positions in Japan and Indonesia and is a talented photographer. Top Gear has already been nominated on Lovemarks.com but, as this report is a little longer, I thought you might enjoy reading it here. KR

The Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are presenters that entertain millions worldwide. Now entering their eleventh season, the show has slowly taken the hearts of viewers. It has already developed a large following in Europe and is on course for broadcast as Australian and America versions.

So what is it that draws millions of viewers for a full hour of speed, horsepower and the most interesting combination of dry British humor? Whether it’s vicariously driving ridiculously expensive cars on the test track, experiencing the quests across America, Africa and the English Channel, or putting Simon Cowell on the spot for the type of cars he drives, one thing is certain: Top Gear is a Lovemark.

The Production – Pure Sensuality
Starting with the photography and music score, the show is a delight for the senses. Director Brian Klein has given his all since Episode 1, incorporating fast-paced action shots that add even more speed to the incredibly fast cars. Paired with a great selection of music, segments of the show captivate audiences with the raw sights and sounds of the multi-million dollar machines in action.

The Stig – Mr Mystery
One aspect of the show is shrouded in a cloak of mystery - The Stig, Top Gear’s anonymous race track driver. By making allusions to the driver’s identity such as, “some say he is afraid of ducks”, the presenters continue to develop the story throughout the seasons. Partnered with the absurd genres of music he or she “listens to” while test driving cars at break-neck speeds, The Stig’s mannerisms and cameos factor a humorous aspect of entertainment to testing cars.

Raw Humor - A Special Kind of Intimacy
Humor in Top Gear is often the source of controversy, but it is British humor, intertwined with automotive jargon, that provides the glue that holds the show together. Clarkson, Hammond and May’s personalities and their passion for motor sports create a sense of intimacy that allows viewers to truly enjoy and appreciate the featured automotive marvels.

Since its re-launch in 2002, the British version of Top Gear has snowballed into one of the most successful television shows in the world, winning Emmys and BAFTAs. With a following in the hundreds of millions, the Top Gear brand has truly reflected the spirit of a Lovemark. Without the brilliance of Clarkson, Hammond and May’s performance, the U.S. and Australian versions of Top Gear will have truly large shoes to fill.