Media Relations: Shell rejigs Helix strategy for 'refreshing oil' image

Shell's oil brand Helix is embarking on a year-long repositioning campaign to tap into customers' perceptions of how the product makes a car 'feel' to drive.

The company's previous strategy was to target the consumer press with the idea that the oil protected and lubricated the engine. However, Shell research found this was too technical and drivers were 'confused' about the benefits offered.

A new tagline - 'Give Your Car that Just Serviced Feeling' - has been devised to promote Helix.

Band & Brown Communications (B&B) has been brought in by Shell to handle media relations.

Norwich-based agency account manager Mike Stainton said B&B would target potential customers through consumer media and suppliers through trade publications.

'We'll be using the automotive trade press to convince mechanics and garage workers - who are the main point of contact with Shell Helix's customers - to recommend the product,' said Stainton. The automotive press and representatives from dealerships are being invited by Shell to attend a series of day events at spas - which Stainton said would suggest 'a refreshing feeling'.

The brand repositioning strategy has already been rolled out in Australia and Malaysia, where 'share preference' has increased by 15 per cent, according to the company. It has also reported a 50 per cent increase in sales growth in some territories.

Stainton said B&B had not been set specific growth targets by Shell, and that the increases achieved in Asia and Australia were unlikely to be repeated in the UK because of differences in the markets.

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