Ogilvy & Mather Creates More ‘answers’ In $50 Mil. Image Campaign For Shell Oil

After three years of researching and seeking ideas from roster and non-roster shops, Shell Oil Co. has bowed a $50 million corporate branding campaign from Ogilvy & Mather in Houston.
The campaign kicked off during Winter Olympics coverage on CBS last Friday and will run in flights throughout the year. The tagline is: “Count on Shell.”
The effort includes five 30-second TV spots that reinforce Houston-based Shell’s image as a company in touch with the concerns of drivers. Ads promote the client’s contributions in other areas as well.
Two spots present people in dangerous or life-threatening situations. In one, a woman’s car veers off the road and into a lake after she falls asleep at the wheel. A voiceover explains the best way to react to the situation and plugs the company’s “Driving Dangers” booklet, which is offered free at Shell stations, in magazine inserts and via a toll-free number.
Additional ads will be added on a quarterly basis to promote new versions of the booklet.
Two other spots illustrate how materials developed by Shell are used in everyday products like snowboards and diapers. Another spot promotes Shell’s aviation lubricant.
Ogilvy executive creative director Joe Kilgore said the campaign capitalizes on the equity the client built over the years as a provider of driver information with its “Shell Answer Man” commercials.
Kilgore said the campaign is the product of more than two years of research. The process also led to at least one competitive threat to the account.
In March 1996, GSD&M in Austin, Texas, made presentations to the client–dubbed the “Shell Identity Advisory Team” internally–in an effort to wrest the corporate branding initiative away from Ogilvy. O&M, which has handled the Shell account since 1948, eventually prevailed over GSD&M.
A print series will run in consumer titles like Time, Reader’s Digest and Sports Illustrated.