Pennzoil Partners With Live Nation For Concerts And Digital 'Backseat Pass'

Yes, there are cars in songs, but mostly there are songs in cars; it's where most people listen to music. Shell Oil Products and its Pennzoil brand are connecting the two via a partnership with Live Nation Entertainment. The deal makes Shell the official fuel sponsor and Pennzoil the official lubricants sponsor at eight of Live Nation's amphitheaters across North America. 

“Music is part of the driving experience, so there's a natural connection for us,” says Doug Kooyman, Pennzoil global brand director. Noting the company has been highlighting its new, synthetic and natural gas-sourced Platinum motor lubricant, he tells Marketing Daily that the brand fits with the Live Nation series, “which also thinks about things differently; we love that level of innovation.” 

As the official fuels and lubricants sponsors of eight Live Nation venues in North America, Shell and Pennzoil will have naming rights on VIP pavilion decks and parking lots. Live Nation is creating programs centered tying into Pennzoil's new “Make the Switch” umbrella campaign. Shell is touting V-Power Nitro Plus premium gasoline, and its Fuel Rewards program. 



Kooyman says Pennzoil will activate at seven of the venues with an experiential footprint, but will avoid getting into product technical pitches. “Explaining our molecules, that's not the message we are trying to tell people. At the end of day, you have to be invited to have that conversation; it's just rude if you lead with ‘let me tell you about motor oil.’ We are celebrating music.”

On top of onsite engagement in select amphitheaters, Shell and Live Nation are bringing in the Zac Brown Band for promotional activity. The program involves a chance to win a trip to a Zac Brown Band concert as well as meet-and-greet prizes with the band in 20 different cities. This, among other artist associations, will run across Shell Retail branded media channels, and offer a total of 200 artist experiences for consumers and key customer account hospitality, per the company. The effort includes point-of-purchase activation at stores like AutoZone, and Pep Boys.

On the digital side of the campaign, Pennzoil is running an online concert and interview series called “Back Seat Pass Powered by Pennzoil,” on a dedicated site where artists talk about their lives and inspiration then perform a song in the backseat of a moving vehicle. 

The site also has a fan-facing promotion that dangles a VIP flyway experience to a Live Nation festival of his or her choice. Kooyman says social will be a big part of the awareness program. “We have quite a following on Facebook and YouTube, so we have paid, owned and earned driving those videos, which have also developed their own following.” 

The series, which started with four artist videos, and re-launched April 15, adds eight new installments this year in addition to the four episodes that ran in 2014. Rock, alternative and indie acts for 2015 include high-profile talent, such as OK Go and Plain White T’s, and people like Madilyn Bailey. Kooyman says last year the artist association was mostly with country star Tim McGraw. “This year we are taking different approach with multiple artists and venues.” He adds that the total slate of artists on the site will comprise 12 performers. Besides the above, there are groups like Delta Spirit, Love and Theft, and The Mowglis.

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