BBC America

Top Gear was watched in more countries in the world than any other factual TV show, but bringing it to the U.S. still took some skillful maneuvering. The biggest obstacle? Convincing viewers the show was for gearheads and non-enthusiasts alike.

With an image tune-up, getting the inside track.

On its surface, Top Gear was obviously about cars, but to tap into its mass appeal, we had to look under the hood, at what really powered the show: humor. In a visually striking campaign, quirky closeups of the show’s hosts were integrated with car parts—headlights for eyes, a tire-tread toupee—to give the show a feel that was as much stand-up as take-the-wheel.

At the finish, it was a drive-away hit.