What does it take to brand a Formula E car?

This weekend sees the start of the new Formula E season, with DS Virgin Racing returning to the track for the fourth instalment of the electric street racing series...

As you would expect, the team have made a few updates to their fully-electric single-seater vehicle, including an enhanced livery, an upgraded software system and a whole host of other subtle tweaks to enhance efficiency and performance.

These changes naturally threw up a number of branding implications, so to get a better understanding of the process the team has been through we spoke to their Chief Marketing Officer, Cameron Maultby.

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What does branding mean to DS Virgin Racing?

Branding is so important to the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team. In the case of our Formula E car, it’s our main asset and the one that’s instantly recognisable to our audience, be it race fans, television fans or our partners. It’s what makes us instantly recognisable on and off track - and like teams in other sports, it becomes synonymous with our colours.

Talking of which, how did the design of the car come about and how were the team colours chosen?

The design has evolved over the four seasons of Formula E but our base look and feel has always remained the same with the purple, red and silver colour scheme. People often ask why aren’t we all red like Virgin but we wanted to be distinctive, so as well as the red we focused on purple too. Fans often comment on our car livery and how good it looks - it’s always a great feeling. 

DS Virgin Racing: Formula E Season 4 Reveal

You’re about to go into the fourth season of Formula E, has the livery changed a lot in that time?

For season four we’ve not altered the look and feel too much but made subtle tweaks throughout. We’ve also made some tweaks to the way we apply the livery too to help from a technical viewpoint.

Your season four reveal video has just been released, what do you think this says about the brand?

We created this with two days of filming earlier this year. One was at our base near Silverstone, the other at a very cold race track just outside Paris! The idea came about to showcase our heritage and successes over the years, both on and off the track, as we’re one of just three teams to have won races in every Formula E season so far. Hence why we’ve projected some of our most iconic moments, including Sir Richard Branson, on to parts of the car.

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