One of Shell’s goals is to harness the power of collaboration - to pioneer more and cleaner energy solutions.
The brand has supported a whole range of energy projects and ideas: creating light from gravity, capturing kinetic energy from footsteps and generating energy from coffee waste, to name but three.
However, most consumers still view Shell as a traditional oil company.
MediaCom's brief was to reach out to Energy Engaged Millennials (EEM); a new audience. They had less entrenched opinions of the energy industry, and as future energy influencers and policymakers, it wanted to ensure they understood and appreciated what Shell was doing.
The aim was to generate interest and transform Shell’s reputation, from a company that feels like part of yesterday - a traditional oil company - to a company that is actively addressing future energy needs.
The agency identified two key challenges:
First, although the audience was defined as ‘energy engaged’, research showed that they were uneasy around the subject of energy and found it to be too distant and complex to truly engage with. In a nutshell, no-one wakes up in the morning thinking about ‘energy’. Shell needed to make energy more exciting and relevant.
Second, Edelman business trust data showed a widening trust gap between an informed public and the general population. If being more informed led to greater trust, it couldn’t just talk about what Shell was doing. It needed to showcase bright energy ideas in action; no theory or pipe dreams.
Reaching out to a new audience required Shell to dramatically rethink its communications and approach to content and distribution.
First, it needed to present a wide range of evidence to help the EEM audience reappraise the brand.
Second, it needed to go beyond traditional advertising. Influencers and real-life events and activations had more impact with this audience.
Finally, it needed to put people first. The target were more likely to listen if they could see the positive impact on people’s lives.
MediaCom's strategic solution was to develop “Best Day of My Life”, a positive, digital and events focused programme that would give the platform needed to engage with the younger target.
To ensure it engaged rather than interrupted, the agency would focus on ‘in-situ’ comms - from native publisher content, to in-feed on social platforms, to physical locations. The days of driving the audience to a corporate hub were over; previous campaign analysis showed that reaching the audience in-situ was seven times as effective as a central hub.
Content would showcase a wide range of bright energy ideas in action, highlighting the human benefits of these initiatives.
To make energy more exciting, it would leverage a mainstream, accessible and unifying passion point for the EEM audience, as defined by audience research across key markets - music.
Building on learnings from previous campaigns, MediaCom saw that content featuring recognisable influencers aligned with Shell’s initiatives had delivered more views, reach and social engagement than any other content.
This time, it would take the influencer approach to a new level, assembling a collective of famous, relevant musical artists from key Shell markets, to demonstrate the power of collaboration, including Jennifer Hudson (US), Pixie Lott (UK), Luan Santana (Brazil) and Tan Weiwei (China).
The agency created compelling content featuring the artists and Shell’s energy innovations.
Each artist collaborated on the same song - Best Day of My Life - and the video would feature every artist, alongside a range of Shell-supported energy innovations. This would not only make the content relevant to key markets but engage with a key passion.
To build anticipation, MediaCom pre-promoted teaser edits of the video online specifically targeting custom audience groups of EEMs, who had previously engaged with Shell campaigns and content, to ensure it was reaching the most engaged audiences first.
To drive rapid reach at launch, it implemented multiple digital takeovers with relevant platforms including Tumblr, Buzzfeed, Snapchat and Twitter.
It then took ‘Best Day Of My Life’ into the real world, assembling Shell’s artists in Rio de Janeiro for a special live performance in an energy-poor favela. Shell’s energy innovations were placed throughout the favela, showcasing their real-world benefits.
The performance was promoted with build-up content on Periscope, before being streamed globally via Facebook Live.
Outside Brazil, the video was placed in the real world via large-format Digital OOH in iconic locations, including Piccadilly Circus in London, and Times Square in New York.
Post launch, the agency distributed the music video across multiple platforms, retargeting engaged audiences with custom expandable video units, interactive videos and native articles with pop-science and tech publishers, to provide deeper info behind the energy innovations.
The results were incredible: Shell became the number one brand globally in the AdAge viral video chart, and the ninth most shared brand video in the world.
Since launching in September, Best Day Of My Life has been viewed 396 million times.
Shell topped the 2016 viral video charts, beating Nike’s Euro 2016 campaign and the John Lewis Xmas ad (among others). The video achieved more than 4.1 million shares.
Shell’s reputation has been transformed; the audience exposed to Best Day Of My Life content were 80% more likely to view Shell as actively addressing future energy needs.
The same exposed audience were more than three times as likely to view Shell as actively addressing future energy needs, compared to its nearest competitors (BP and ExxonMobil).
Shell didn’t create an ad campaign. It created an unmissable, global entertainment event; one that was powered and informed by kinetic tiles, roadside wind turbines, solar technology and energy-efficient mobility.