CAMPAIGNS: Shell shares its society secrets - Publicity

Late night shopping is big business, worth pounds 2.8 billion annually to forecourt stores alone. Every two seconds someone buys a sandwich from one of Select’s (the Shell UK forecourt brand) 850 shops. Biss Lancaster, working with Shell’s press office, ran a campaign based on the 24-hour society, to draw even more twilight shoppers to Shell forecourts.

Late night shopping is big business, worth pounds 2.8 billion

annually to forecourt stores alone. Every two seconds someone buys a

sandwich from one of Select’s (the Shell UK forecourt brand) 850 shops.

Biss Lancaster, working with Shell’s press office, ran a campaign based

on the 24-hour society, to draw even more twilight shoppers to Shell

forecourts.



Objectives



Using three key messages - convenience, 24-hour access and range of

goods - to win media coverage for Shell, promote the Shell Select brand

as a convenience retailer and support the advertising message ’making

time for you’.



Tactics



The campaign started with a survey into people’s shopping habits, the

role of the petrol station in society and attitudes to Shell Select. Two

telephone surveys, each made up of 1,000 people, and 400 face-to-face

interviews at Shell forecourts pointed to what Biss Lancaster dubbed a

24-hour society.



Findings that 17 million late-night shoppers buy snacks, soft drinks,

condoms and cigarettes went into a hard-hitting report. Dr David Lewis,

an international psychologist, threw academic clout behind the findings

with a viewpoint on nocturnal shopping and 24-hour living.



A national press release was offered highlighting the findings of the

report. Six regional variations were also offered, extracting regional

data from the survey.



As well as the ’hard-facts’ report, a ’What type of Night Owl Shopper

are you?’ questionnaire was released for the consumer media.



The five-strong Biss Lancaster team, headed by managing director Isabel

Greenwood, homed in on more than 800 multimedia targets. A steady drip

feed of results was meant to create an unstoppable media momentum for

the launch of the survey in November.



Biss Lancaster and Shell were keen to round off the launch with a

flourish.



’Midnight Survival’ packs of Select goods such as chocolate, coffee and

tin mugs were sent to major national and regional radio DJs such as Zoe

Ball of Radio 1.



Results



The campaign hit the headlines with almost every national broadsheet

running stories leading on key findings of the survey. Around 60

regional newspapers including London Evening Standard, the Yorkshire

Post and the Scotsman followed suit. Around 16 business titles also ran

stories.



Broadcast coverage also appeared on television stations including BBC 1

and 2, Channel 5 and Edinburgh Live TV. BBC national and regional radio

covered the stories and many followed the findings with their own vox

pops.



Around 35 per cent of the pounds 65, 000 budget went on planning, 55 per

cent on implementation and ten per cent on evaluation.



Verdict



This was a hardworking PR campaign, and one which certainly achieved its

aim of gaining media coverage for Shell. It was also successful in

promoting the Select brand as a convenience retailer, with most stories

mentioning the brand and the fact that Shell operates 24-hour service

stations.



Client: Shell UK

PR Team: Biss Lancaster

Campaign: Shell Select Survey and 24-Hour Society report

Timescale: August 1997 to December 1997

Cost: pounds 65,000



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