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'Shell Holiday Patrol' Aims to Pump Up Image

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DALLAS Shell Oil Products U.S. and its in-house marketing division Motiva Enterprises are testing a customer loyalty program that sends teams of "brand ambassadors" to gas stations and shopping malls in five cities offering gifts, assistance and entertainment, the company said.

Using advertising, public relations and on-site promoters, the program is designed to create "a one-to-one dialogue between consumers and the Shell brand," according to the company, whose U.S. headquarters are in Houston.

Dubbed the "Shell Holiday Patrol," the brand ambassadors will assist customers at the pump, host events and hand out more than $30,000 in Shell gift cards and prizes per market, the company said.

The program also includes events at local malls where adults and children can play holiday-themed trivia games or race remote-control cars around a Shell V-Power Grand Prix. Giveaways such as fish-shaped stress balls and $10 Shell gift cards will be distributed, the company said.

"The Shell Holiday Patrol puts a face on the Shell brand and gives us the opportunity to build relationships while bringing a little extra cheer to our customers this holiday season," said Brooks Herring, brand and strategy manger for the retail division of Shell Oil Products U.S.

The patrol will visit Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Texas; San Antonio; and Pittsburgh and will be supported with a PR and ad campaign to boost awareness. Shell will use radio advertising and remotes on the tour.

The cost of the campaign was not disclosed.

With 7,200 U.S. stations, Shell Oil Company is a 50 percent owner of Motiva Enterprises.