Inspiring a Younger Audience to “Choose Go”

Conoco wanted to reach 18-24-year-olds, a hard-to-engage audience. Skeptical of marketing and unlikely to interact with brands, they sit, text, curate and retweet in an endless stream of #content.

Our challenge: For people inclined to “stay,” we had to get them to “go.” To pile in a car with friends, fill up the tank, have fun and exchange high-fives in person versus via emoji.

Idea

“Choose Go,” a social-first campaign that changed the rules of social engagement by understanding the audience’s perceptions of brands. Instead of forcing advertising-like objects on them, we built content around their interests.

With research showing that half the audience is interested in manga, a style of comics created in Japan, we partnered with a manga artist to create a content series about Conoco-kun, a gas station employee and his best friend, Carhead, who together fight the evil clutches of the monster Stay.

Knowing they enjoy real-time humor, we scraped social conversation daily for opportunities. So when IHOP temporarily changed to “IHOB,” we tweeted that we were now called “Conobo.” True to our audience’s snarky tone, we created a deep-fried meme and tweeted “we changed our name, but don’t @ us.” It was the strongest reaction/response/similar in Conoco’s history, with 4,400+ engagements.

Results

  • 3.7 million social impressions and 1.2 million engagements
  • Social content like the manga drove 40.7 million more social impressions and 10.5 million engagements
  • Passion intensity about the brand went from zero to 100
  • Conoco sold 40 million more gallons of gas in the campaign’s first five months compared to the year prior

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