Truckers are hidden heroes. To promote Shell Rimula, the specialist oil they needed, the brand needed to give them the recognition they deserved.
Truckers do a lot of unseen work. They travel hundreds of miles every day, keep countries fed and watered, and ensure economies stays on the move. However, in markets like India and Malaysia, this is a hard audience to pin down; they live on the road and there is little data around their media habits and attitudes.
To drive usage of Shell Rimula, the specialist oil they needed, Mediacom needed to make a connection with these hidden heroes and find out more about their lives on the road. After talking to more than 1,500 truckers face-to-face, it discovered three key insights:
• Firstly, the trucker community is tightly knit; a driver’s life is tough, and they are bound to this community as both business partners and support while on the road.
• Secondly, their media consumption is very much shaped by being on the road; they rarely have access to the latest technology, often using feature phones and transport hub internet cafes to stay connected. This is particularly true in rural areas.
• Thirdly, and the central insight: this was an extremely hardworking group that deserved to be rewarded for their contribution to the economy.
Mediacom needed to amplify Shell’s brand message in a way that recognised these ambitious, hardworking people, while emphasising the importance of trust and partnership on the road.
Shell needed to demonstrate that it understood truckers’ lives and celebrate their trusted partnerships.
To activate the ‘Hardworking’ approach, Mediacom needed a strategy and platform that embodied both the key insights around the trucker community, as well as their unique media consumption habits on the road. The result was a brand new communications platform just for truckers: “Be a Trusted Part of the Trucker Community,” to be adopted by all Rimula markets globally and used to activate and amplify the campaign.
This platform would define how Shell behaved both in terms of the on-the-road media it would use to reach truckers, and the deeper engagement it would try to achieve with them through media partnerships and on-the-ground activities.
The key to success would be not just saying that it understood their lives as truckers, but proving to them first hand that Shell Rimula was a valuable partner for this tight-knit community.
In a market like India, this was a particularly challenging job. In such an incredibly large, fragmented, and competitive country, this “trusted partnership” platform had to come through at a laser-targeted level. Other markets such as Malaysia also faced challenges in activating the platform; while the brand had healthy awareness among the audience, it had to better educate and prove to them that Rimula was not only a hardworking oil, but that it also celebrated and rewarded truckers for their hard work. In both territories, Mediacom had to ensure employ a seamless approach that went far beyond traditional media partnerships. It would not just reach truckers with the message, but also interact with them personally.
This was the only way Shell Rimula could to truly integrate into the trucker community.
Laser-targeted events at key trucker destinations combined with radio told truckers that Shell understood their lives. In two key markets, Shell took a truly integrated approach to bring the platform to life:
To reach rural farmers and truckers in India, the agency partnered with key radio partner 92.7 Big FM, using on-air, on-the-ground, and mobile activation to bring to life the “Mera Mehanti Humsafar ki kahani” (Trusted Partnership) contest.
The prize was 10K INR and a year’s supply worth of Rimula. To win, truckers had to submit their story describing why the brand was their trusted partner on the road, either via mobile feature phone (calling in their entries via a toll free number) or at on-the-ground radio events.
The winner would also be featured in regional TV and print. Not only did this create buzz and engagement around the brand but also made it easy for less connected, less educated truckers to interact with Shell.
To create a deeper sense of engagement and education around Shell Rimula in Malaysia, the local team created the Shell Rimula Truck Tour, marrying strong on-the-ground presence with critical media amplification. Shell used radio station partnerships to drive traffic via remote broadcasts at events, paired with mobile billboards, targeted SMS blasts, and TV/Print integrations.
At the events truckers were able to play educational games, speak to Rimula representatives, and relax in dedicated R&R/grooming areas designed to celebrate and reward hardworking truckers.
The campaign was as hardworking as the truckers, driving sales up 18% and boosting awareness and engagement. These “Hardworking” initiatives drove not only interactions, but additionally business results for Shell Rimula. Overall, sales of Shell Rimula products shot up 18% year on year.
In India, Shell saw over 16,000 interactions as part of the promotion, and 1,200 complete story entries from which to choose the grand prize winner – proving that it could both reach and excite this key niche audience. The stories of the winners reached 9.8 million people.
In Malaysia, across 18 locations, the campaign drove nearly 10,000 truckers to the event across the country, selling nearly one million litres of Shell Rimula at these locations.
Additionally, the tour drove more than $450,000 in radio added value and Print/Digital PR activity, making Shell Rimula truly famous among this core trucker audience in the market.