Doe-Anderson this week takes the unusual approach of launching a branding campaign based on 10-second TV spots.
The Louisville, Ky., agency's first work for the 500-unit Valvoline Instant Oil Change chain positions the company's employees as passionate car lovers, ties to the brand equity of the Valvoline oil brand and introduces a new tagline, "Cars. We know 'em. We love 'em."
That's a tall order for a 10-second spot, concedes Gary Sloboda, Doe-Anderson's senior vice president and creative director.
"Normally, you're not thinking 10-second spots when you're planning a branding effort," Sloboda said. "And there was a long discussion internally about it before we took the idea to the VIOC people.
"It was a bit of an educated guess that this could work. But it was based on strong reasoning."
One reason is economy. A series of 10-second spots could stretch the budget--estimated at $5-8 million--to provide greater frequency and reach than traditional 30-second spots.
Another point in favor of the strategy, Sloboda said, is the strength of the Valvoline name revealed by research. "We're building off the equity of the main [oil] brand," he said. "It's seen as a good product by people who understand cars. We're building from that."
The first four 10-second spots break this week in 22 markets, primarily in the Midwest. Each centers on a recurring character, identified as "Phil" on his VIOC uniform. In one spot, he's crying as a car leaves the oil change bay. "Don't worry," a co-worker reassures him. "It'll be back in 3,000 miles." In another, Phil addresses a meeting of Car Lovers Anonymous, where all the attendees are VIOC employees.
Outdoor boards carrying the new tag will also be part of the campaign.
Doe-Anderson, corporate agency for VIOC parent Ashland Oil, Lexington, Ky., succeeded Meridian Communications, Lexington, on the VIOC account last August.