Overview: This was a promotion with a difference. Advertising started in June 03 and Atlantic Canada results were measured for June – August versus same-store figures the year before.
Situation Analysis: Hundreds of promotions for gasoline and convenience stores flood the market each summer—and it’s extremely difficult for any of them to stand out. In terms of basic prize structure, Irving’s Cruisin’ to Win summer contest was not so very different from others. It needed a twist, and that became the key to its success.
Strategy and Insight: The promotion had multiple ways to win everything from RVs and Sea-Doos to bottles of juice and chocolate bars. This, in itself, would not make the promotion stand out. Then came the insight. Promotions hype big prizes. Why not turn convention on its head and—tongue in cheek—focus on the small ones.
Execution: Creative was a take-off of 60-second reality radio. A radio personality called people who had won a bag of chips or something similar. Her over-the-top enthusiasm, combined with their deadpan bewilderment, was hilarious. Newspapers kept the quirky tonality with headlines like “To me, victory tastes a lot like salt and vinegar.”
Results: Cruisin’ to Win racked up 14% year-over-year increases in same-store sales. The buzz was exceptional. Irving research (results were supplied) showed a lift in top-of-mind awareness, brand liking and personality—quite an achievement for a promotion. The campaign was also highly recognized in other ways. It won two Bronze Cannes Lions, was a finalist at The One Show and London International, won four Marketing Golds, two ADCC Golds and Best of Show at the ICE and Crystals awards. And Irving was not left out. They were named Atlantic Marketer of the Year.
Cause and Effect: The case showed the correlation between advertising activity and sales. It then excluded other variables—such as price, the cost of gasoline, the weather and tourism—to arrive at the conclusion that this was definitely an advertising-driven success.
IRVING OIL LTD.
TERRY SMALL, Manager, Advertising and Marketing Communications
TARGET MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS INC.
NOEL O'DEA, Director of Strategic & Creative Planning
TOM MURPHY, Creative Director
DONNA MCCARTHY, Creative Director
JAMES JUNG, Art Director
RICHARD NELSON, Art Director
JENNY SMITH, Writer
DONNA MCCARTHY, Writer
LAURELYN PRIESTLEY, Director of Account Management
MARK PETERS, Account Manager