Shell is launching a major push to drive home to consumers the point that "all gasoline is not the same," said Shell Retail brand and communications manager Karen Wildman.
The company teamed up with Edelman in an effort to bring the gasoline experience home to consumers in a hands-on fashion.
Idea: NASCAR is one of the most popular sports in the US, especially for auto enthusiasts. Shell leveraged its sponsorship of driver Kevin Harvick and designed an interactive event that will tour 15 cities over the next few months. "It allows us to really build on what we've been doing over the past couple of years with our fuels education program," Wildman says. "We've done mobile marketing [before], but this is probably the biggest effort we've ever had."
Tools: The campaign's kickoff at the Daytona 500 was set to feature appearances from Harvick and a Shell car care expert. Other elements include a video game where players can race cars while avoiding "gunky deposits"; exhibits detailing both Shell's history in the racing business and the "Future of Energy," including alternative fuels; and an interactive game that lets people record themselves having a conversation with a virtual Harvick and then upload the videos to YouTube for an extra viral component. The effort will hit the road on a national tour, following NASCAR races, auto shows, and other "large attendance events," said Wildman.
Measurement: Shell hopes to reach 2 million people with the tour. The mobile effort will segue into a larger "Future Fuels" campaign that includes advertising and marketing. Edelman is helping the company harvest consumers' cell phone numbers, conduct online surveys, and gauge message uptake in the media for ongoing measurement and follow-up communications.
Campaign: Shell Passionate Experts Tour
PR team: In-house and Edelman (Chicago)
Other marketing: Advertising (J Walter Thompson)
Launch: February 15