Many drivers are super invested in their vehicles. They wax their cars to a perfect shine and vacuum the carpets in patterns. They replace their windshield wipers and oil regularly. Yet even among these fanatics, there’s a general lack of understanding of how to properly use fuel additives.
Now, the Sta-bil brand -- which offers a range of products designed to treat all engines from everyday driving vehicles to collector cars, snowmobiles to boats -- is launching a multifaceted advertising campaign to encourage proper fuel habits that runs across print, digital, shopper marketing and radio channels.
Developed by Marc USA, the campaign is designed to leverage Sta-bil’s “leadership” and “heritage” to drive home the “trust factor.” That proposition led to the creative message “When You Store, Start with Sta-bil Storage.”
This creative combines humor with education. As cold weather approaches, animals aren’t the only ones to hibernate, says the campaign. Vintage cars, motorcycles and lawn mowers are often tucked inside to protect them from winter’s elements. Playing to this theme, Marc USA uses a sleeping horse, pig and goat curled up in a garage to inform owners of cars, trucks, tractors, etc. that a good winter’s nap can only be assured if Sta-bil Storage is added to the tank.
The effort includes full-page print ads running in November and December issues of publications such as Popular Mechanics, Rider Magazine and Thunder Press Magazine with a $1-off Sta-bil offer. The full multimedia campaign is targeted to auto, motorcycle and outdoor power equipment users during the fourth quarter, promoting the benefits of Sta-bil Storage to properly protect engines during the winter season.
Additional components include radio spots for ESPN, Westwood One NFL Sponsorship and Traffic & Weather Network and digital display advertising to auto, motorcycle and outdoor power equipment owners on relevant digital sites.
Walmart is another key factor with this effort. As Sta-bil’s biggest customer, the retail program was designed to intercept Walmart shoppers when they are making their shopping list, and to drive them to purchase in-store on their next trip.
The brand is offering an incentive and trial offer to encourage purchase of Sta-bil at Walmart locations. Then there will be traffic and weather spot radio network ads with cold weather and storage messages during key drive times within high-performing Walmart markets to support this promotion.
"Due to a lot of conflicting and competitive messages out there on storing, including sources that tell people to “drain their tank” -- which is actually damaging – Gold Eagle [Sta-bil's parent company] needed to defend and support Q4 aggressively especially at Walmart -- their largest customer," says a Marc spokesperson. "They asked us to develop a campaign to ensure we had a strong Q4 campaign that would be targeted especially around their key customers and have stopping power to get people to notice during this key storing season."
This campaign represents a new direction for the brand by supporting its heritage product, called Sta-bil Storage, America’s #1 Fuel Stabilizer rather than its Sta-bil 360 product. Still, both are designed to resonate with similar consumers: "Performance Seekers" and their obsessive drive and commitment in taking the utmost care of their prized possessions -- including auto, motorcycles and even their lawn mowers -- by properly treating and storing them so they’re ready to be at peak performance in the spring, say executives.
Sta-bil's ad spend has been uneven in recent years. In 2013, parent company Gold Eagle spent $322,000 on advertising for the Sta-bil brand, down significantly from $3.818 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media. More recently, the brand spent $564,000 on advertising between January and June 2014, up from $277,000 year-over-year.
Marc USA has worked with Sta-bil for one year, although the agency is entering its second year handling duties for Gold Eagle and its other brand 303.