The fuel industry is arguably one of the most difficult sectors to build consumer loyalty, but through a cleverly devised multi-faceted digital campaign BP has managed to successfully connect with key market sectors, engage and entertain, and generate huge competitive advantage for the brand in SA.
Its online campaign is based on the fun principle of ‘pimping your ride’ by customising your car and adding personalised designs to its paintwork to change the look and to create the ultimate ride.
Called BP Ultimate Ride, the campaign which launched two years ago was lauded for its ability to engage with thousands of consumers in a business to consumer direct ‘conversation’ over a six month period. Now in its second year, the revamped BP Ultimate Ride II, continues to create BP brand adorers who say they remain true to one brand of fuel.
Tristao Abro, BP’s Brand and Insights Manager describes the campaign as an ideal vehicle through which to connect with consumers in a fun and engaging way over a number of months.
“BP Ultimate Ride is a multi-player online game which allows you to modify and customise your virtual ride; race against others online, judge others’ cars and so on in order to get closer to winning the ultimate prize – a R500 000 one-of-a-kind modified Volkswagen GTI.
“The campaign is specifically aimed at a niche group with an interest in cars – whom we think might be more interested in fuels and performance – and whom we believe are extremely influential and are more likely to pay attention to our products and our fuels messages.
“Social network integration has also been seamlessly built-in. As players modify their cars, they are able to share their creations with friends and family, as well as the BP Ultimate Ride community”, says Abro.
With a relatively conservative budget, the pilot campaign devised by Lange Strategic Communications, kicked off in late 2009 and generated a massive cult following. Tens of thousands of hard core motoring fanatics competed to win a R600 000 souped-up Volkswagen Scirocco, which was handed over to the winner at last year’s Extreme Auto Show in Johannesburg.
Updating an online BP Ultimate logbook to clock mileage was integral to the campaign and included various educational elements which needed to be unlocked in order to gain StreetCred – the virtual currency needed to upgrade an entrant’s car and progress in the game.
The 6-month campaign was also extended to forecourts where clues and codes had to be logged in order to gain additional transactional ability. And with every BP Express purchase more ‘virtual money’ or StreetCred could be earned which increased feet in store for BP and allowed consumers to habitually engage with the brand and its products over a lengthy period, thereby building loyalty.