Shell Promo, Case study POWER AND THE PASSION by Prism

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Industry Lubricants
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Germany
Agency Prism
Director Neil Robershaw
Creative Director Simon Woollard
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: SHELL
Shell Global Sponsorships Manager: Richard Bracewell (Shell Brands International)
Shell Global Sponsorship Manager: Stuart Humm (Shell Brands International)
Creative Director: Simon Woollard (PRISM)
Director: Neil Robershaw (Zooter productions)
Motorsport PR Manager: Luke Drake (PRISM)
CEO: Steve Madincea (PRISM)
Media placement: VNR 1 - Total Global Broadcasts: 107 Including RTL Gemany, Channel 5 UK - 14/03/2010
Media placement: VNR 2 - Total Global Broadcasts: 4 Including RTL Germany, ESPN Asia, La Sexta Spain, TPA - 28/03/2010
Media placement: VNR 3 - Total Global Broadcasts: 90 Including RTL Gemany, Channel 5 UK - 04/04/2010
Media placement: VNR 4 - TPA Asturas, Spain - 18/04/2010
Media placement: VNR 5 - RTL Germany, ARD Germany , SKy Germany, Speed TV USA, TRT Turkey. - 29/08/2010
Media placement: VNR 6 - Rai Italy, La Sexta Spain - 12/09/2010
Media placement: VNR 7 - Total Global Broadcasts: 19 Including ESPN Asia And Sky Germany - 29/09/2010
Media placement: VNR 8 - ESPN Asia - 04/10/2010
Media placement: VNR 9 - Total Global Broadcasts: 19 Including Globosat Brazil - 24/10/2010
Media placement: Ocumentary - The Power And The Passion - Otal Global Broadcasts: 54 Including CCTV China, Rede Globo Brazil - W/c 15/11/2010

Summary of the Campaign
Shell’s Technical Partnership with Ferrari F1 goes back over 60 years. Shell research suggests motorists’ aware of the Shell Ferrari Partnership are more likely to buy Shell fuel and oil products.

A core influencer audience of motorists were Formula One fans. They consumed the sport primarily through broadcast TV and motorsport websites. If Shell could find a compelling way to vividly demonstrate the history and role of Shell’s technical partnership with Ferrari, there would be a direct opportunity to show how the fuel and oils were developed and how the advanced technology is eventually passed onto motorists. With this opportunity the strategy was to produce compelling film content stories for F1 TV and online broadcasters.

With special access to Ferrari and Shell, a TV documentary was created that brought a candid 'behind the scenes' look at Ferrari and an insight into the Shell technical partnership. Capitalising on Ferrari’s late surge for the Driver’s Championship, nine timely and topical VNR’s were also created, distributed across the season, dramatically revealing the key role Shell and its products played.

The VNR’s and documentary reached 97 million viewers across 200 countries. A PR value of $51.3m was achieved representing an ROI of 73:1.

The Situation
Fuel and oil producers Shell have been a Technical Partner with Ferrari for over 60 years. Global F1 broadcasters require stories to fill their pre-race shows, yet fuel and oil was not an immediate editor choice. A brand mention was the most Shell received, but this did little to explain the arrangement went beyond a badge sponsorship and that it was a technical partnership that facilitated production of advanced fuels and oils for motorists. In response to 2010 FIA regulations outlawing F1 teams from refuelling, Shell could position itself as fuel experts and get relevant features on their fuel products.

The Goal
Shell’s global research states motorists’ aware of the Shell Ferrari Partnership are more likely to buy Shell fuel and oil products. The 2010 PR goal was to help increase awareness of the Partnership above its current penetration of 28%, and to communicate the 'track to road' innovation benefits and the advanced technology nature of Shell products such as V-Power fuel and Helix oil. A specific target reach of 50 million global motorsport fans was set. As consumers of fuel and oil products, fans took a technical interest in the sport, and acted as opinion leaders within their circles of influence.

The Strategy
To get exposure on F1 broadcast schedules editors wanted race news, great footage and provocative quotes. The refuelling ban was top of the news agenda as the season start approached. How would F1 teams overcome the problems of fuel overheating without the usual cooling? Ferrari needed Shell’s expertise more than ever and Shell wanted to be the example media used to explain the story.

The PR strategy was to create a 30 minute HD documentary that exposed the heart of the Shell Ferrari Partnership. The narrative explored why the partnership was one of the most successful in motorsport, and how it worked to deliver a competitive advantage to the Ferrari team. Nine five minute VNR’s were created from the documentary footage. These were to be distributed throughout the season as F1 race stories, credibly featuring Shell’s role and messaging, while still delivering insights and quotes craved by broadcasters.


The 2010 campaign was executed in four stages. 1) Pre-production, January-March, 2) Film production, February - November, 3) Post Production editing, February-November and 4) Film Distribution, March to December. F1 journalists were consulted to ensure Shell story angles would appeal to broadcast audiences. Production was condensed into 11 filming days visiting the Ferrari HQ in Maranello, Shell’s Technology Centre in Thornton, UK, plus Ferrari F1 car action scenes shot in Spain. Scheduling was under constant evolution. Bad weather, interview cancelations and location sensitivity required the crew to adapt quickly to craft strong stories. Editing was synchronised to supply media across the season. The first 'fuel story' VNR was ready for the March 8th season start positioning Shell as the authority on the refuelling ban. Shell proactively approached editors with its VNR content, using pinpoint timing and production quality to maximise its broadcast potential by global media in F1 scheduled programming.

Documented Results
For an initial investment of $750m, Shell’s VNR’s and documentary reached 97 million viewers over multiple broadcast channels across 200 countries. 21 countries that were Shells top global markets broadcast the content reaching motorsport influencers where the majority of its key customers resided and business could be optimised. Crucially Shell, its products and messaging were at the centre of every story.

Using international standard evaluation technique based on a Shell ad buying rate for advertising (Min 60% lower than rate card value) a PR value of $51.3m was achieved for VNR and 'The Power and the Passion' documentary broadcast. This figure, which excluded the 800 online broadcasts as they could not be effectively valued, still represented an ROI of 73:1. Significantly this broadcast PR strategy has also kept Shell in the public eye during the F1 off season.