By Barry Janoff
March 4, 2016: Tony Stewart has been a mainstay in auto racing for more than 20 years.
Now that he is entering his last season as a Nascar driver, Stewart would like to find some new interests, and marketing partner Mobil 1 wants to help.
In a multi-platform campaign, “Tony’s Next Chapter," anchored by a series of 30-second digital spots, Stewart somewhat haphazardly embarks on such endeavors as cooking, learning to speak French, painting and becoming a cheese connoisseur.
Along for the ride are Stewart's compadres at Stewart Haas Racing, including Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick.
“Our partnership with Tony and Stewart-Haas Racing has really centered on technology and how we can help the team’s cars go faster each week," Kai Decker, global motor sports manager for ExxonMobil," said in a statement. "We also know race fans are very interested in what Tony’s future holds — on and off the track.
The saga of “Tony’s Next Chapter” videos will be featured on the Mobil 1 and SHR Facebook pages, Mobil 1 YouTube channel. and social media including Twitter. There also is behind-the-scenes content on Mobil 1 Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Stewart, 44, who is recovering from a back injury he received due to an ATV accident in February, missed parts of the 2013 and 2014 Nascar seasons due to racing-related accidents. also has endorsement deals that include Coca-Cola, Bass Pro Shops, Outback, Chevy, Aspen Dental and Jimmy John's Sandwiches.
Mobil 1, entering its 14th season as the “official motor oil of Nascar," said that "Tony’s Next Chapter” is the first in a digital video content series that it would will roll out during the 2016 Nascar Sprint Cup season to showcasing the brand’s role with Stewart, Harvick and Patrick.
A humorous late spring and summer series will feature the trio as they take a road trip to Sprint Cup races. They will also be featured in short videos in which they are asked for their opinions on topics such as food, driving styles and hobbies.
For Stewart, his past experiences may or may not transition well to his proposed new life events.
In "Tony's Meat Smoker," Danica says, "Tony wants to keep busy in retirement, so he's been discovering new passions." The action cuts to Stewart showing his new "Stewart Meat Smoker, a sophisticated multilevel meat platform" to Harvick.
Rather than a tasty cooked meat aroma, the room is filling with foul-smelling fumes. "Smells like burnt rubber," says Harvick. Stewart ignores the comment. "That's the magic. It's signature white burnout smoke. So who's read to get rich?" he asks. (See the full spot here.)
In "Tony Learns French," Stewart is taking up a new language, but only to a limited degree. "Bon jour, Pierre," he says in a not-so-French accent to a group of guys in his race garage. "Je m'appelle Tony. Como ta le vous?" He then rattles off the remaining words in his repertoire. "Merci. Fromage. Croissant."
Before he leaves, Stewart has one more French trick up his sleeve. He turns into a mime who cannot get out of an imaginary box. (See the full spot here.)
Upcoming spots include "Tony Picks Up Painting" and "Tony Becomes a Cheese Connoisseur."
"We hope fans of Tony, Kevin and Danica enjoy this lighthearted video series," said Decker.
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