Imperial Oil & Esso Canada: Cryo conspiracy

When Calgary-based Imperial Oil launched a new slushie drink, Cryo, at its Esso gas stations across the country, Toronto-based OMD Canada stepped up to the challenge with disruptive, cryptic media - and by partnering with Toronto-based YTV, they got teens embroiled in TV and web intrigue.

When Calgary-based Imperial Oil launched a new slushie drink, Cryo, at its Esso gas stations across the country, Toronto-based OMD Canada stepped up to the challenge with disruptive, cryptic media – and by partnering with Toronto-based YTV, they got teens embroiled in TV and web intrigue.

Goal

To engage youth with an interactive and targeted multimedia campaign.

Target

Teens 12 to 17.

Insights and strategy

Teenagers wish for exhilarating experiences to transform their highly structured lives. To help them escape from the mundane and to launch the new Cryo beverage, the team devised disruptive communications that fed into teenagers’ desire to be actively involved in the thrill of action, discovery and intrigue.

The plan

Working with Corus Entertainment’s YTV, the team created a ‘conspiracy theory’ storyline in which television and the web were used to engage the target. Teens were driven to ‘Uncover the Truth’ about the new product through an intricate storyline, unfolded via the first ever isolated commercial placements that interrupted programming on YTV last May, mimicking a rogue broadcast. Investigative youth were driven to three microsites posted by three main characters to explain their versions of the story. Like real undercover agents, teens were able to hack emails and access top-secret data.

Results

Site traffic was 46% higher than YTV benchmarks, while clickthrough rates exceeded average industry rates by 85%. The time spent per session was 80% higher than average promotions. In the launch month ending in June, sales exceeded goals by 25%. As well, there was lots of online chatter on various forums.

Credits

OMD: Bita Fesharaki, strategy manager; Raquel Mullin, media supervisor; Laura Chiaravalloti, strategist

Imperial Oil: Carla M. Whitehurst, convenience retailing client advisor; Don Rudzinski, brand communication, Americas

Corus: Colleen Kennedy, account executive; Tom Woyzbun, co-marketing project manager

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