For the fifth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship there was an all-new designed car dubbed the 'Gen2'. This car featured significantly different shapes and angles compared to the Gen1 car making branding for TV exposure and creating a unique and attention grabbing livery, a challenge.
I started off creating Mahindra Racing's Gen2 livery for the M5Electro by taking the season four branding and trying to replicate where possible. From there I then refined the positions for sponsors to maximise their visibility at all angles based on my own 3D renders, testing footage and marketing data. My livery exploited a number of sponsorship areas that no other team had thought of which enabled us to maximise our coverage (such as onboard camera shots) - the competition eventually caught up!
Once I had locked down the position of the sponsors, I then looked to create an exciting livery that married up the dynamic lines of the car with our team and partner colours. Several concepts were created and, along with the CEO/Team Principal, we narrowed these down until we had one concept left.
Once the concept was chosen, it was then time to create a 3D model and render the livery to review, make further refinements and then present to partners for their feedback. At this stage I also involved our technical team for their feedback on the practicality and finish requirements.
After all feedback was received and revisions made, I then created the implementation guide and proceeded to have the cars painted and then vinyl wrapped.
We launched the M5Electro in Valencia ahead of the pre-season tests and incorporated a social media and marketing campaign to promote it along with the announcement of our new driver line-up. After testing, our main sponsor had some revisions that they requested after viewing exposure on track and on video footage – these changes were made ahead of the first race.
Once the season kicked off, it didn't take long before the M5Electro won a race – a very proud moment for myself to see my design next to the podium and taking the chequered flag.
During the season we launched a special 'Battista' livery for our partner, Automobili Pininfarina, which debuted at the Geneva Motorshow. The car also featured on the red carpet at the prestigious Autosport Awards and did the hill climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with Nick Heidfeld driving.
It reached over 400 million TV and online race fans and was seen by hundreds of thousands of spectators in 13 major cities across the globe. We featured on campaigns by the BBC (in the UK), Formula E and numerous other media and news outlets from around the world. Exciting race fans for the future and giving the little Mahindra Racing team a hefty and prominent branding position against the mights of Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar and Nissan et al. And all done by one person - me!
Thierry Courtois has been a Contributor since 23rd December 2016.