MotorTrend

Nascar 2020: Under Pressure

You Ask

We have a big one for you! Are you available and interested in creating a trailer for MotorTrend’s all-new docu series, NASCAR 2020: Under Pressure? 2020 is a season like none other and this series is committed to capturing it all. The focus is twofold: to celebrate the intense action surrounding the competition for the championship while highlighting intense moments from a transitional season filled with racial injustice, the raging pandemic and a sports-wide shut down. This is the new generation of a good old boy sport so buckle up.

We Answer


If we weren’t NASCAR fans before, we are now (move over, F1!) and proud to be part of an evolving enterprise committed to doing things better. The amazing team at MotorTrend led by Tom Heijne is always one of our favorite groups and it was great to be back in the mix with them again. We were really missing fast cars, fast deadlines and fast sizzles. (And... Just kidding, we still love you, F1).

Shake & Bake.

The production company supplied us with tons of NASCAR highlight clip reels while also giving us access to on camera interviews with the drivers. We knew leaving the viewer on the edge of their seat was the goal, so we immediately planned to feature epic sound design heavy racing montages to fit the action-packed quota. Knowing we did not want this spot to ever lose its momentum, or the viewer to ever be taken out of the NASCAR stadium, we chose cards to keep the story moving and on message.

AlterEgo and MotorTrend design teams worked together on the design of the piece. Basing our style off the established Key Art, we found ways to feature NASCAR imagery while allowing text legibility to reign king. And did you know that NASCAR’s text font is aptly called, Stainless. Well played.

Racing has never meant more

Playing on the bold structures of Stainless as a display type, we first experimented with matching the speedy Nascar track messaging found on it's concrete crash walls. The speedy forward-leaning skewed type didn't really match the somber tone of the year that has taken place for NASCAR. So we swapped it out for a more upright condensed version of Stainless to emphasize this hard hitting sport.

The words
The words

We also tried to communicate the slow, steady effort of NASCAR’s return and we did that by desaturating all the textures and backgrounds then gradually bringing color back into each card sequentially throughout the spots. At the end of the piece, color and "normalcy" have somewhat returned. The goal was to have the washes of color and texture bring out the grit and determination of those committed to win.

MotorTrend now has a diverse number of platform offerings which each had several layout challenges. We were able to reframe all of the social media vertical, square, and horizontal graphic layouts to fully provide the same emotion as the linear promos.

3 images of different sizes saying:

I think MotorTrend Senior Writer/Producer, Hunter LeMoine sums it up quite nicely. Take it away, my man.

“2020 was filled with its challenges for the world, and producing quality content was not immune to those challenges. Getting to collaborate with AlterEgo on the NASCAR 2020 Under Pressure campaign made those challenges a little easier. The group came with fresh eyes and an eagerness to tell the unbelievable story that the sport, and its drivers had to offer. It’s a product I think we all can mark as a victory for 2020.”

Fun Fact

Stock car racing has its origins in bootleggin'. Bootleggers would gather together to race their cars to see who had the best modifications for speed, cornering, and holding extra weight in order to evade the feds during prohibition. Even after prohibition ended, these drivers/runners would still meet up to race (1. because it was fun, 2. they were still runnin' hooch in order to avoid taxes). In 1936, the city of Daytona, Florida, held the first organized stock car race on the beach. A decade later, NASCAR would be founded, and the sport made official.