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Monday, July 15, 2024
More power means more love:

How Duracell is Making Fans Fall in Love with F1 Racing

Presented by
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By — Front Office Sports
Posted — May 29, 2024
A sleek, modern Formula 1 race car is showcased in a studio setting with a vibrant blue and black digital background.

When Duracell became an unlikely sponsor for F1’s Williams Racing team in early 2023, nobody expected the basic household brand to become the sport’s newest darling. Yet now, per countless fans across social media, Duracell has “managed to make thousands fall in love with literal batteries,” per @jefwun on X.

The Duracell-Williams partnership is unlikely because typical F1 sponsors are luxury and fashion brands such as Rolex, Tag Heuer, Boss, and Ray-Ban. Duracell, on the other hand, is a battery company and household brand. But Duracell and Williams have quickly found teaming up to be mutually beneficial. Both organizations are dedicated to relentlessly advancing in their respective fields, and they continually seek innovative and effective ways to enhance their performance. With Williams Racing being one of the most iconic teams in the sport—it’s won the most championships after Ferrari—it made a natural fit for Duracell, a newcomer to F1 but a longtime giant in its own industry.

Overhead view of a Formula 1 driver in a Williams Racing car cockpit. The driver is wearing a blue helmet with the number 23 and the logo of Komatsu. The car features prominent branding from Duracell on the halo and bodywork. The scene captures the driver in a focused moment, with their hands on the steering wheel and the detailed design of the car's interior visible.

“I need to cry because I never knew Duracell admin goes to search and respond to every fan…this is the best thing ever.”

Duracell Logo

From there, Duracell leaned into its natural impulses. The people behind this partnership were fans of the sport first, so they approached their outreach to F1 fans in the same way. The thing about F1 is that it’s an inherently self-serious sport—and for good reason. These cars are going fast around tracks that can be dangerous. This requires intense and serious focus on the part of the drivers.

Fan culture, however, has become increasingly lighthearted and irreverent across all sports, and Duracell wanted to bring that sort of joy to F1. First, it created a clever design for the Williams cars that transformed the airbox on top into the spitting image of a Duracell battery. Fans ate that up.

In response, Duracell gave the fans one-of-a-kind, blue-foam cowboy hats with batteries on the top. Suddenly the hats were everywhere on social media.

Then there was social media itself: Duracell admins took to X and simply fanboyed and fangirled out. They made it their goal to not talk at fans, but to talk with them. One admin or another took on the task of live-posting throughout every race, and replying to any and every post they could find about Williams Racing and its drivers, such as Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant.

When Sargeant posted about “leaving it all out there” and looking forward to the spa after a race, Duracell admins sent him sweet and earnest messages cheering him on.

When fans posted Photoshopped pictures of Albon’s hair dyed in Duracell’s signature coppertop color, Duracell admins replied that they loved it.

Front view of a Formula 1 driver in a Williams Racing suit and helmet, standing behind the steering wheel of a racing car. The driver's helmet and suit features branding from Duracell. The driver appears to be focused, with a technician visible in the background working in the garage.

“Duracell found a random untagged tweet of mine about Alex Albon and replied? Icon [expletive]. They are AA’s biggest fan and I’m here to support them for it.”

Side view of a Williams Racing Formula 1 car showcased in a studio with blue background lighting. The car features prominent branding from Duracell. The sleek design of the car is highlighted, with its aerodynamic shape and detailed sponsor logos clearly visible on the bodywork and tires.
Side view of a Williams Racing Formula 1 car in motion on a racetrack. The car is speeding past, with a blurred background indicating its high speed. The vehicle features prominent logos from Duracell. The number 23 is visible on the car, and the design showcases the sleek and aerodynamic structure of the racing vehicle.
Close-up side view of a Williams Racing Formula 1 car's air intake and bodywork. The car prominently displays the Duracell logo on the carbon fiber structure. The air intake is designed to resemble a Duracell battery with a copper top. The image highlights the detailed design and sponsor integration on the car.

Fans took notice, and not only of the fun conversations they were having, but also of Duracell’s commitment to the cause. “It’s like unreal,” wrote X user @4LBON. “Super on the grind!”

Another user posted a gif of someone sitting in front of a wall of computers, another posted a gif of a cat pounding away at a computer keyboard. X user @abble_16 wrote, “Duracell admin see all and hear all.” And X user @needyforlerclerc wrote, “I need to cry because I never knew duracell admin goes to search and respond to every fan.” After posting some crying-face emojis, they went on, “this is the best thing ever.” Then they added four red hearts.

Countless social media posts echoed those sentiments. In short, Duracell was not only giving fans unexpected shots of joy; they were doing so by making them feel seen. The fans got it: As @soufflepuffmay wrote on X, “Duracell found a random untagged tweet of mine about Alex Albon and replied? Icon [expletive]. They are AA’s biggest fan and I’m here to support them for it.”

As X user @williams_fw45 put it in a meme showing a jacked bearded man “simping” for a Duracell battery: “At your service, my king.”

The feelings are mutual: To share with their fans a symbol of solidarity and to celebrate their new bond, Duracell created friendship bracelets for everyone.

At the core of it all, one can find Duracell and the fans’ shared deep and inherent love for the sport itself and the Williams Racing team they support: Under a Sargeant Instagram post about a race that ended with less-than-ideal results, a Duracell admin sent kind words of encouragement and outright said, “We still love you!”

Instagram user abeinsp3ce replied, “You guys are real wholesome in here. We love to see it.”

They’ll soon be able to see plenty more.

Close-up of a Formula 1 driver wearing a helmet and seated in the Williams Racing car. The helmet features branding from Duracell. The driver has a focused expression, with eyes visible through the visor, while team members are working around the car in the background.