Walt Disney has opted a creative marketing strategy for their biographical drama – “Ford v Ferrari” by changing its name for Europeans Country to “Le Mans ’66”
Walt Disney’s Upcoming American biographical drama – Ford v Ferrari, witnessed its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019. The theatrical release of the movie in the United States is on November 15, 2019. The critics have reviewed the racing sequences in the film positively.
However, the most interesting aspect of ‘Ford v Ferrari’ is its alternative name for the European countries – Le Mans ’66. Ford v Ferrari is based upon the works of Caroll Shelby and Ken Miles. Both Caroll and Ken were chosen by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca. Henry and Lee were envisioned to beat Ferrari’s, Scuderia Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari is a racing program that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1960 through 1965.
Le Mans ’66
Paris’ Le Mans Grand Prix is the world’s oldest active sports car endurance race, held annually since 1923. Henry and Lee had decided to beat Enzo Ferrari’s racing program, Scuderia Ferrari. Hence, they asked Caroll and Ken to build a Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to defeat Ferrari racing team at Le Mans in 1966.
The plotline of Ford v Ferrari
The film revolves around the story of Carroll Shelby and race car driver Ken Miles leading a team of American engineers. It chronicles the events in the creation of the legendary GT40 by the engineers from Ford. Ultimately, they produce the Ford GT40 for a showdown at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The name which Disney is using to release the film in European countries – Le Mans ’66, suggests otherwise. Le Mans ’66 suggests the movie is based on the much-anticipated race competition between the team of Ford and Ferrari. On the contrary, the film is majorly based upon the challenges which occurred while the making of legendary GT40.
The Sly Marketing Strategy
When it comes to blockbuster and even Oscar-bait movies like Ford v Ferrari, advertisers tend to have different marketing strategies for different countries. These strategies have also involved changes in the titles of the movies. In recent years, there have been title changes for several movies. For instance, The Avengers was changed to Avengers Assemble. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was changed to Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge.
Fox hasn’t given a specific reason for Ford v Ferrari‘s title change, neither are they to do so. Since it’s not necessarily something they would like to reveal to the public. However, considering the hosting place of 24 Hours of Le Mans is France and is an immensely popular European race. The change in the name of the film after a race – even those who aren’t racing fans – would recognize on some level. Considering this, Le Mans ’66 could be better than Ford v Ferrari.
The effects of Change
Unless a person is well-versed in racing history, particularly with European races, they may not even know what Le Mans ’66 is about. Ford v Ferrari‘s European title downplays the core rivalry between the two companies in the early 1960s. Going from Ford v Ferrari to Le Mans ’66 is like changing the title of Miracle on Ice to Winter Olympics 1980. That would cheapen the history of the United States hockey team. It would’ve been a bad decision for that film, however, Le Mans ’66 could go well with European fans.
As it is a very popular event in European culture, the fans can associate with the name – Le Mans ’66. Considering this, it can be inferred as a brilliant marketing strategy.