The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition last week tapped Minneapolis agency Cevette and Co. to handle a $2-5 million campaign promoting the sale of E85 oxygenated fuel in Minneapolis.
The special E85 blend of fuel is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Most ethanol blends only contain 10 percent of the corn-based product, which cuts air-polluting emissions.
The first work likely will break this fall promoting the sale of E85 fuel and the addition of E85 pumps at gas stations across Minnesota. Further efforts will include marketing and advertising to increase the sale of vehicles that can operate on the blend.
Both Chrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co. now manufacture such vehicles. Cevette will work with Chrysler agency Bozell Worldwide in Southfield, Mich., and Ford agency J. Walter Thompson in Detroit to develop advertising specially tailored to those vehicles' E85 capabilities.
Phillip Lampert, the Des Moines, Iowa-based coalition's project coordinator, said
he was swayed by Cevette's "impressive track record" in marketing ethanol products. The agency has twice received accolades from the U.S. Department of Energy for its 8-year-old ethanol promotion program.
Last October, Minnesota mandated that nearly all gasoline sold in the state be at least a 10 percent ethanol blend. Such a requirement makes Minnesota a useful state to introduce the relatively unfamiliar E85 fuel, said agency president John Cevette.
Though the campaign will initially be limited to Minnesota, the program is expected to expand to Chicago and Denver within the next year.
"Then we will look forward to taking this program nationwide," Lampert said.
Cevette's other clients include the Buffalo Wild Wings bar and grill chain, Timber Lodge Steak House, The Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Norwest Banks.