Shell Promo, Case study LAUNCHING SHELL FUELSAVE by Edelman London

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Industry Automotive products, services and accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Edelman London
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Product/Service: FUELSAVE
Deputy Managing Director: Sharon Reid (Edelman)
Associate Director: Melda Simon (Edelman)
Account Director, Digital: Lee Goodger (Edelman)
Senior Account Manager: Alex Eeles (Edelman)
Account Manager: Georgie Brown (Edelman)
Account Manager: Fiona McHugh (Edelman)
Account Executive: Johnny Hughes (Edelman)
Assistant Account Executive: Gemma Morris (Edelman)
Assistant Account Executive: Hannah Firth (Edelman)
Media placement: Products Launch Press Release - Including, The Sunday Times Sunday Mirror The Metro Marketing Week The Sun - 21 July 2010
Media placement: One-Litre Driving Challenges With Celebrity Ambassador & Journalists - Including, Sky Sports News Live From Studio Five, Channel 5 Daily Telegraph The - 5 & 21 July, 2010
Media placement: Photo Stunt At Shell Forecourt With Celebrity Ambassador - Including, The Sun Berkshire Life Lancashire Evening News - 21 July 2010
Media placement: Online Media & Blogger Event - Including, Yahoo Cars MSN Super Single Mu - 21 July 2010
Media placement: Driving Challenge - Including, Daily Mirror The Birmingham Mail The Manchester Evening News Reading - 2 Sept – 3 October, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
The brief was to launch a new fuel across the UK - Shell FuelSave - designed to help drivers save up to 1 litre per tank. The aim was to help Shell appeal to a new customer profile – shoppers, not motorists.
However, generating media coverage in a low-interest product would be a considerable challenge, made only tougher by a media landscape dominated by the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

Shell’s image as a multinational oil company had the potential to alienate some customers. To overcome this cynicism there was a need to align the brand with a personality who could connect with mainstream Britain. An added problem was the product’s lack of tangibility. The solution was a nationwide driving competition in which celebrities and consumers were challenged to see how fuel-efficiently they could drive on a litre of Shell FuelSave.

Combining a high profile celebrity endorsement, real driving experiences and credible money saving stories successfully engaged mass Britain. 80% of coverage achieved was in non-motoring media and the Global Head of Public Relations for Shell has selected the project as an international best practice case study for local PR teams.

The Situation
Petrol is one of the most commoditised retail markets in the UK. Supermarkets have penetrated the industry over the last 30 years and now account for more than half of all fuel sales. Shell FuelSave is a product that reduces fuel consumption.
Although the technology had been used previously in some premium fuels, this was the first time that it had been included in a regular fuel, at no extra cost. The launch of Shell FuelSave presented an opportunity to steal shoppers from major supermarkets. How could we connect with customers on the subject of petrol to seize this moment?

The Goal
The brief was to launch the Shell FuelSave brand and its value-for-money proposition. The specific campaign objectives were to:
• Establish that the fuel economy benefit comes at no extra cost, helping drivers save fuel and money
• Engage smart shoppers, not motorists
• Highlight the product’s key benefit – 'save up to 1 litre per tank'
• Drive volume and trial of the new fuels
• Underline that all fuels are not the same, highlighting Shell’s core strength (fuel quality)

The Strategy
A strategy rooted in using high profile personalities and members of the public to act as a credible mouthpiece for Shell FuelSave was designed in order to appeal to a mainstream audience and bring Shell out of the motoring pages and into the lifestyle and entertainment media.

The obvious choice for a celebrity ambassador was a name from the world of motoring but this would have its limitations. The solution was provided by the England cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff – an everyman British hero, former Sports Personality of the Year and a household name who would appeal to a broad audience.

Media events, featuring Flintoff and journalists in driving challenges, secured coverage across a wide range of media. A Shell scientist worked alongside Flintoff to give media insight into the technical innovation and ensure that the product story was given prominence in media coverage. A social media event delivered consumer buzz pre-launch with media interview placements underpinning the campaign, driving consumers online to learn how to save fuel in an interactive fuel-efficient training challenge.

A partnership with the Daily Mirror newspaper, in which high profile motoring guru, Quentin Willson was challenged to drive the length of the UK using Shell FuelSave extended the campaign reach beyond launch week. Everyday drivers were given the opportunity to join Quentin on his quest and experience the product benefits first-hand. This proved irrevocably that the product does work and each driver’s story was leveraged across consumer press.

Documented Results
The campaign achieved 183 pieces of media coverage between July and September 2010, with over 160 million opportunities to see/hear, 6,000 consumers taking part in an online fuel-efficient challenge and a return on investment of 17:1. The campaign achieved high awareness with over 50% of UK motorists recalling campaign messages (% includes ATL work).

The success was driven by coverage across print, online and blog channels, achieving 97% key message penetration, including:
o Full page article in Daily Telegraph
o "Best Buy" accolade by The Sunday Times
o National exposure on Sky News and Channel 5
o 80% of coverage achieved in non-motoring media