‘Life Happens’ in Dailey’s ConocoPhillips Ads

LOS ANGELES Dailey & Associates has launched its first campaign encompassing all three ConocoPhillips brands—Conoco, Phillips and 76.

The Interpublic Group shop in West Hollywood, Calif., had handled Phillips’ 76 brand and, once the client’s merger with Conoco was completed in 2002, won the combined account following a review that concluded at the end of 2002.

Three 30-second TV spots introduce the tag, “Life happens between empty and full.” The ads tout the client’s Quality ProClean gasolines and employ a three-pronged approach to address “quality, trust and peace of mind for consumers when they use the gasoline,” said Terry Hunt, director of advertising and brand management for ConocoPhillips.

In one spot, which breaks in June, a guy brings an architectural model and a tray of coffee to a car where his co-workers are waiting. As he struggles to balance both, he places the model on the roof of the car, then drives off, forgetting the model. Onscreen text is “1/4 tank to the big presentation.” As the model is run over by a car, text is “1/4 tank to a lot of explaining.”

Two additional spots broke earlier this month. In one, two kids argue in the backseat of a car as the little boy continues to put his hand on his sister’s side of the seat. Onscreen text is “3 tanks from Grandma’s house.” As the parents grow increasingly agitated at the fighting, copy is “About 1/16 of a tank from stopping this car.” The voiceover: “A lot of life happens in your car. That’s why Conoco new Quality ProClean gasolines help clean your engine as you drive. So you can focus on more important things.”

Another spot has a teenage boy driving as he tries to work up the courage to stop at the home of a girl he has a crush on. Copy is “1/8 tank to get to her house” and “1 tank to get up the nerve to stop.”

Depending on the region, spots will either include the 76, Conoco or Phillips 66 brands.

“The fact that they have new cleaning additives is a very rational, compelling argument,” said Mike Folino, chief creative officer at Dailey. To create an emotional connection, as well, ads address, “the idea the tanks of gasoline actually matter in life. It’s a nice way to talk about gasoline and it’s language they can own,” Folino said.

In addition to Folino, the creative team consisted of creative director and copywriter Bill Waldner, creative director and art director Mark Rouse, copywriter Jimbo Embry and art director Daniel Gray. IPG’s Initiative in Los Angeles handled the media buy.

The campaign also includes four outdoor ads and four radio executions. Campaign spending could not be determined. The Houston-based client spent $23 million on ads in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Separately, ConocoPhillips said it has tapped Acento in Los Angeles to launch its Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 gasoline brands in the Hispanic market. Acento overcame Accentmarketing in Coral Gables, Fla., as well as Los Angeles shops Enlace Communications and La Agencia de Orci & Asociados, which teamed with promotions agency AIM in Escondido, Calif., the client said.

The shop will handle TV, out-of-home and radio ads with original Spanish-language creative, as well as promotions and Hispanic events. Previously, the client translated its general-market ads to Spanish.

Billings for the Hispanic account are $2.5 million, the client said.