Shell's objectives were to boost brand awareness and preference among millennials, so it created its "Forever Outriders" campaign. The spirit of the campaign was that Shell embraces people who "outride life's challenges." One aspect of the campaign included a partnership with road accident assistant group Saigon SOS. Vietnamese millennials look up to real-life heroes like Saigon SOS, so the brand provided the organization with resources and training. Additionally, Shell created video content with a soccer star and a motorbike influencer to inspire acts of courage and heroism among its target.
Objective and Context:
There are an estimated 45 million motorbikes in Vietnam, nearly one bike for every two people. Motorbike oil is an essential commodity in Vietnamese life. Castrol is the market leader, and the Shell brand is a distant second. Additionally, Shell was facing a business crisis. While brand awareness was at 42 percent, preference was only at 5 percent.
Shell had to create a strategy and campaign that addressed top-of-funnel marketing activities. The primary objective was to drive awareness and make Shell a preferred brand among the target audience by integrating the brand proposition in customers daily lives.
The target audience was millennials, with a focus on 20- to 40-year-old men. They are digitally savvy and are always connected through internet or mobile devices. Among the target audience, smartphone penetration is at 93 percent and internet access is at 86 percent. In general, the target is inspired by real acts of courage and real-life heroes.
Because of the density of motorbikes in Vietnam, there is a high propensity for accidents. Approximately 14,000 people lose their lives each year in Vietnam because of road accidents. Different rider groups have emerged to help those distress. Saigon SOS is one such group. However, these groups sometimes struggle to secure necessary resources to do their jobs.
As part of the campaign, Shell Advance supplied Saigon SOS with first aid resources and bike repair training. In this way, the brand would be known as a supporter and enabler of courage. Shell created content in partnership with Saigon SOS that focused on people who embraced the spirit of outriding life's challenges and real-life stories of courage to inspire the youth of Vietnam to drive positive social change for their communities.
Vietnam soccer star Dang Van Lam and famous biker Tran Dang Dang Khoa participated in the campaign. They also helped inspire the target audience with their own personal stories of courage and overcoming life's challenges. The campaign shared stories from average people who demonstrated courage and heroism.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Forever Outriders had three stages: Connect, Convince, and Convert. Eighty percent of the budget was spent on mobile. This included 35 sets of customized mobile creative executions, including programmatic media, social media, and video content.
The "Connected" phase drove interest among consumers through short form video. The videos created buzz around Saigon SOS and its commitment to saving lives. The "Convince" and "Convert" phases featured long-form of video where Shell introduced its role in empowering Saigon SOS. Shell's association with Saigon SOS showed consumers the brand in a different light.
Creative executions were further amplified on Lam's and Khoa's personal Facebook pages. Branded content and influencer interviews provided another means to communicate key brand messaging. To drive impact, new Shell Advance packaging was created with Lam's image on it. He also participated in a contest where he personally motivated and inspired mechanics.
As a result of its partnership with Shell, Saigon SOS established an emergency call and text number which could help save thousands of lives. Drivers for Grab Bike, a motorbike taxi service, were targeted through the Grab app to create awareness about Saigon SOS.
The campaign reached more than 25 million members of its target audience, with 87 percent viewability. The video content achieved over 19 million views, and influencer posts generated 250,000 engagements. Brand awareness rose 13 points from 42 percent to 55 percent. In just four months, sales volume grew 24 percent year over year, and gross profit grew 49 percent.