Monday, April 21, 2008

Who Says Advertising Doesn't Work?

I guess it doesn’t make much difference here in SA, where fuel prices are regulated by the government, but it’s still interesting to note the article by Advertising Age about research carried out in the USA on how people choose their petrol brand, and how marketing activities are paying off.

One of Shell's very successful viral clips

According to the research carried out by NPD Group, US consumers in the past year have more often cited product performance as a reason to buy a given brand of petrol. That marks a turnaround after a decade of decline, indicating that big oil's branding pushes are indeed working. As fuel prices are also rocketing in the US, this piece of research seems to confirm consumers’ belief that if they have to pay more, they might as well go for the best.

Karen Wildman, brand and communications manager of the Shell brand at Shell Oil Co., said the $35 million Shell spent last year for the brand's "Passionate Experts" campaign was a good investment and is spending the same amount this year to continue the effort.

Shell's quarterly research shows that consumers' perception of the brand's petrol has improved dramatically since the campaign began running, though specific details seem to be sketchy.

What’s more, the Shell brand is also trying to reach drivers, many of them younger, who might not be exposed to its national TV, banner or local radio ads with three humorous online viral videos featuring geeky, lab-coat-clad scientists who are the "passionate experts."