SAIC bought much of MG Rover’s intellectual property in 2005, but it trades as Roewe as it does not own the Rover name. Human was appointed to the project in February following an initial meeting with SAIC Roewe’s media agency Lucky World in August 2009.
The initial meeting was funded by UK Trade & Investment, a Government organisation that helps businesses to trade overseas, says Human creative director Nick Bax. He says, ’The Chinese see Roewe as a very British brand, synonymous with quality and steeped in history. Hence the insistence that a British team design the events promoting the cars.’
The 20 000- to 40 000-capacity events, which begin at the end of July, aim to promote the launch of the Roewe 550 car and will feature performances from contemporary musicians. The consultancy was briefed to create an identity, the set and animations for the events.
Bax says, ’The first thing was to understand the nature of the events, as it’s quite alien for us – the nearest thing is a festival.’ The event’s marque references typography from the Roewe 550’s dashboard, and the aesthetic of the stage design was inspired by 1980s culture, science fiction film Tron and sculptor Dan Flavin, says Bax.
Human senior designer Martin Fewell created a modular set that included the ten display cars, stage and screen, and could be adapted to fit different stadiums. Bax says, ’Each car had to be as much of a star as the Chinese megastars that are performing.’