Down Royal Racecourse – Brand Audit

We’ve been working closely with The Down Royal Racecourse over the past few years creating engaging advertising campaigns, race festival materials and digital ads. On the run up to the 2017 Summer Festival the Down Royal Racecourse approached Kaizen Brand Evolution to conduct a Brand Audit. Having had their identity for some time they felt that it was time for a refresh, to increase engagement with current clients and potential customers alike. We were well versed in the reach of the Down Royal’s marketing and the potential there to make a real difference to the bottom line of the business through clever brand strategy.

Auditing the Down Royal Racecourse brand and identifying how we could best position the business in the entertainment marketplace required focussed research and development from the studio. We explored how competitors sell entertainment as well as sport focussed strategies.

Our first point of call was the Down Royal mark itself. We decided to re-draw the horse icon giving it more depth and substance as well as a contoured texture representative of the racetrack. Using the previous colour palette we added a gradient to each fetlock on the horse then applied the texture. Once the icon was refreshed the type mark below required a contemporary type family to set the brand apart. With both elements in place the new logo mark had to now marry with a clever advertising campaign. This is when we introduced the abbreviated ‘DR’ (Down Royal) concept.

DR has always been a term I have identified with the Down Royal growing up near the racecourse and re-introducing it seemed the natural thing to do. With DR in place for a stream of AD’s we crafted some key copy that was synonymous with the Down Royal Racecourse, Drama, Dress up, Dream and Drink all versatile one-word descriptors of the offer at the Racecourse. The copy provided a solid foundation for the design with one key element always highlighted – the DR.

With the new logo & new campaign direction decided upon the next step was to create visuals that married with the type. For this we sourced high impact portraits, isolated on white. This single image would back up the campaign messaging and allow for a brand new secondary colour palette. We chose a striking portrait of a horse to portray Drama and a glamorous girl at the races to work with Dress up. The secondary colour palette is a fantastic, bold palette far removed from the primary gold’s in the previous identity. The new palette lifts the brand into 2017, stepping away from tradition and engaging with new audiences. The DR campaign will evolve across the Down Royal complex as well as their marketing material. Way finding systems in the complex are very important and utilising the DR campaign for the likes of the Bar areas is going to re-enforce the brand even further. Highlighting the DR across all touch points across the business will breed association with the brand even in instances where the logo mark itself does not appear. This clear, clever strategy set by the Kaizen Brand Evolution studio breathes confidence across the whole brand identity and is evidence of the power of a brand audit.

The first roll out of the ad campaign was for the Ulster Tatler and Business Eye Magazine (out now) as double page spreads. The identity will be rolled out as a soft launch across all of the Down Royal’s marketing material and brand touch points.

If you feel your brand requires an audit to really bring out the best in your business please feel free to get in touch and arrange an appointment with one of our senior brand experts.