By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Housewares International is leveraging the partnership established between its male shaving brand, Philips, and the Williams Formula One team through a range of innovative marketing initiatives.

The partnership, which was established in December 2005, offers marketing opportunities specifically designed to drive sales and position Philips as the premier male shaver brand to the Formula One audience, which is estimated at 162 million people per Grand Prix.

Through this partnership, Philips has launched an exclusive online Formula One racing game, giving fans the chance to compete against real Williams drivers.

By registering at, players will be able to customise a Williams Formula One car to specific track conditions, taking into account weather, surface type and the actual track itself.

Once the custom car is created, players will be pitted against real Williams Formula One drivers including Australia’s Mark Webber, to compare times, car specifications for each Grand Prix throughout the 2006 series.

Via the site, fans will also be able to create a fantasy league and view free Williams Formula One content, as well as information on Philips shavers. Visitors to the site can prepare a virtual car to coincide with the actual Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix which will be held in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

Philips will promote the site through a viral campaign using an existing database of over 50,000 customers.

Philips has invested over $200,000 invested in public relations to support the Williams Formula One/Philips partnership including promotions on the Nova radio network in both Sydney and Melbourne and a recent promotion run on the Seven Network’s Sunrise program.