Days after posting our analysis of the first Drone Racing League (DRL) promotional video and race in Miami, the World Drone Prix (WDP) YouTube channel posted their promotional video for their Dubai race.
Check it out:
For reference, here is the DRL promo video again:
It is amazing how similar yet different the two racing league’s promo videos are. Similar theming, similar style of cutting and editing, and of course lots of LEDs and super colorful gates. However there are some interesting differences.
The WDP video really seems to highlight the production of the event. It showcases clips of people preparing, highlights the different courses, and generally shows more of the courses that the pilots are flying. Moreover, the video consciously spotlights the spectator side of things. There are shots of the grandstands, stadium seating, and so forth. A major difference from the DRL video is the showcasing of different quadcopter types (you can see some DJI’s as well as micro quads in addition to the racing quads) and the work involved in putting everything together. Summed up, the WDP video aims to build up excitement for the scale of the live event and show the work involved in putting this spectacle together.
Conversely, the DRL video focuses on the buzz words and news quotes to build credibility with the viewer. The opening line, “Drone racing is the sport of the future” tries to immediately validate the sport and show the casual viewer something they may never have heard of before. Similarly, the slow motion shots serve to easily let the audience see what these contraptions look like before they speed off out of sight. Furthermore, whereas the WDP video shows teams working on their drones and looking over the course, the DRL video throws the spotlight on the individual racers. It is clear that they are hoping to make some of these racers household names by the end of the first season.
So in summary:
- Heavy focus on event preparation.
- Fully showcase the tracks and layouts of the courses.
- Sense of community and shared interest in the hobby.
- Focus on validation and introducing viewers to a sport they may never have heard of through the use of on screen text and quotes from websites and news networks.
- Long shots in slow motion to help show the custom DRL brand quads to viewers who might need context on what a racing drone is.
- Puts the spotlight on the individual pilots to start building up the stars of the sport.
That’s great, but which one is ‘better’?
Alright so, I wanted to compare the content of the two videos first before the obvious question comes up – which one of these is the better video? Perhaps even more to the point – which one of these racing leagues will succeed? At the end of the day there can only be one winner, right?
I personally don’t think so.
On the surface, these promo videos both promote a racing league. However, I think the main takeaway is that they are promoting very different events. Just like in car racing how you have different classifications of cars and event types, I think these leagues, and the goals of each, are very different.
DRL seems to be building the ‘reality’ event of drone racing. From their first race videos in Miami, we can see there is a heavy emphasis on taking time between races to involve the actual pilots, capture their reactions, and give people a person to root for. Similarly, the editing style of the videos and how the event is presented to the viewer has a very post production feel. In summary – while the flying and competition is real, it is not a live public event.
WDP on the other hand is promoting a one weekend drone race. The emphasis here being on the million dollar prize pool for the pilots and the excitement of viewing a live event. It is clear that they are trying to bring a growing community together and create a live spectacle to showcase the sights and sounds of drone racing.
To that end, I think that each video did a good job showing the viewer in advance what to expect from each league.
However, the one thing that really stood out to me was the call to action for the viewer between the two videos. If you watched the DRL promo and wanted to see more, you were instructed to subscribe or visit their website. While I mentioned before that I found the content disorganized, there was a relatively clear call to action for the viewer – subscribe for more quad racing goodness.
This is what I feel is the main shortcoming to WDP’s promo video. There is no call to action for the viewer. They are showcasing a live event but don’t give viewers a way to get more information or purchase tickets to a livestream viewing. With the prize pool and production value being so high, one would think they would be doing everything that they can to showcase this event internationally using some sort of livestream. Instead, the video only links to a ticketing website to purchase tickets to attend the actual event. Not so great if you can’t make it to Dubai within a week’s notice (remember – this video was uploaded only five days before the event). While some livestreams have popped up from the event, it seems like a missed opportunity to not promote an official livestream to see the event unfold live. Maybe next year.
At this point, it is interesting to see the growing pains as these fledgling leagues try to give drone racing the push into mainstream relevance. It will be great to follow their progress, as well as see other up and coming organizations do all that they can to give racers and spectators a memorable event.