Blue Chip Lubricants and the launch of Q8Oils in South Africa
In August 2017, less than two months before the event, Blue Chip Lubricants (BCL) contracted NGAGE to manage the publicity, communications, and social media elements of the official launch of Q8Oils in South Africa, which took place at the Futuroad Expo 2017, part of Automechanika, which is Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading event for the truck and bus industry.
“As always, the NGAGE team delivered more than expected! As one of the smaller players at Automechanika 2017, Blue Chip Lubricants was commended for creating the most hype, thanks to NGAGE’s efforts!” – Hayley Arnesen, Sales and Marketing Director, Blue Chip Lubricants.
STATEMENT OF OPPORTUNITY
Q8Oils is part of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. With crude oil production levels of 2.9-million barrels per day, Q8Oils is ranked the seventh-largest oil producer in the world. Family-owned BCL completed the construction of its local blending and testing facility, and embarked on large-scale blending of lubricants from Q8Oils for the Sub-Saharan African markets. The brief was to generate as much hype as possible around the launch, and recently-concluded B-BBEE transaction, and to make BCL stand out among much-larger competitors at the expo.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
- As a first-time exhibitor at Futuroad, and as a relatively-unknown brand in South Africa, Q8Oils needed to stand out among much-larger and more established competitors.
- Being contracted less than two months before the event limited the opportunity for a PR build-up.
- The BCL Facebook page had a mere 150 followers before we took over the campaign.
- Futuroad 2017 was the perfect platform to launch Q8Oils into South Africa.
- As an industry specialist, we leant on our existing relationships with the transport trade media, and arranged an official media day to coincide with the planned visit from Q8Oils management.
- The campaign targeted high-level decision makers attending Futuroad from the transportation sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Communicate the launch of Q8Oils in South Africa, and leverage off the international experience of the brand.
- Communicate BCL’s B-BBEE Level 1 accreditation and newly-established local blending facility.
- High-level decision makers (LSM 10) in the transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa; and
- High-level decision makers attending Futuroad.
COMMUNICATION CHANNELS USED
- Daily, transport, engineering and mining trade media.
- Social media (Facebook).
- BCL’s NGAGE press office was a platform for all campaign content produced.
- Media event for the official launch.
- Video of the gumboot dance and official launch.
EXECUTION OF STRATEGY
With limited time and budget, we came up with an idea to link Q8Oils and BCL, and showcase the former’s new African roots. Hence we decided to carry out a flash-mob gum boot dance at the Q8Oils stand three times over the course of the week, the first dance interrupting speeches at the media launch, to create hype around the stand, and provide engaging social media content which followers and influencers would want to share. The element of surprise was well received by the media and crowds around the stand. Contacting a few dance studios revealed that this would be the very first flash-mob gumboot dance, which created even more hype.
A total of 17 trade media attended the BCL launch over the event of a much larger competitor. A Business Report journalist interviewed the team on the day of the launch, and the subsequent article, which focused on the B-BBEE deal, the new blending facility and the launch of Q8Oils, was published prominently in the Business Report section of The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times and The Mercury. The launch event received 18 clippings in print and online media, all with a positive sentiment and highlighting the key messages as planned.
To give stand visitors a unique experience, we built a centrepiece Scalextric track. A ‘fastest fingers wins’ competition had stand visitors race each other to win a lap around a real race track in a Formula One vehicle, and a helicopter trip to lunch for two. Social media was used to drive the competition, and our team created an event on the BCL Facebook page, which was targeted at expo attendees. As times were beaten, the leader-board was updated on the event page, driving interest and attendance to the stand. Our social media team created a targeted influencer list and linked all posts with a trending #, which drove conversation about the launch on social media. The campaign was targeted to people attending or talking about Futuroad.
|1. Generate leads for potential private label partners in South Africa||Five private and public companies approached BCL to initiate discussions as blending and labelling partners, including a large multinational food retail chain, which learnt about BCL’s blending capabilities in an online article.
|2. Generate leads for potential distributors for BCL throughout Sub-Saharan Africa
|Following the launch, BCL has received numerous requests from potential distributors. Upon consultation, seven companies have been shortlisted as distributors, one in Tanzania and six in South Africa.
|3. Generate leads for potential private-label partners outside of South Africa.
|Three international lubricant companies from outside South Africa have shown interest in partnering with BCL to blend locally.|
|4. Generate leads for local product development.
|Several companies have contacted BCL to develop new products locally, and one product is close to completion.|
|5. Create awareness for the B-BBEE partnership, the launch of Q8Oils in Sub-Saharan Africa and of the newly launched local blending facility.||Generated 18 print and online clippings, all with a positive sentiment and highlighting key messages, with a total AVE rate (1:1) of R789 841.00.
|6. Make the BCL stand at Futuroad stand out among much larger competitors||The flash-mob gumboot dance, media launch and Scalextric competition resulted in BCL receiving a Bronze Award for Best Stand at Futuroad.|
|7. Increase the number of followers and engagement on the BCL Facebook page.||
5 832 post engagements.
Grew the BCL Facebook community by 1 251 targeted fans.
90 302 impressions on Facebook, of which 21 156 were viral impressions created with #Q8Oils at #Futuroad content.
Videos/slideshows posted were viewed 6 200 times. 2 943 people watched the video until the end.