Cannes Lions

ExxonMobil Fueling Precision

UM, New York / EXXON / 2022

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Our client, a leading energy brand, entered 2021 faced with a confluence of destabilizing global events:

· Fuel supply uncertainty

· Changing consumer mobility habits due to COVID-19

· Low perceived differentiation among premium fuel brands

· Significant and increasing competitive pressure

Despite downward pressure, our client tasked us with the ambitious objective to drive incremental sales of premium fuel. Faced with a volatile and destabilized marketplace, we knew we would need to show results with maximum efficiency


Our people-based data solution unlocked a shift in media strategy from mass awareness to a precision approach that would drive incremental premium sales and support the business during a period of instability.

To convince our Station Splitters and Premium Prospects to buy premium fuel with us, we needed to use communications to demonstrate the personal benefits of the brand’s premium experience. This strategy was deployed in two ways:

· Agile precision: To combat the volatile marketplace, standard auto-optimization wasn’t going to be enough. We used our rich audience data to continuously deliver learnings and refine targeting throughout the campaign. To do so, we developed a closed-loop measurement solution that tied our audiences and media delivery to debit and credit card category sales data, maximizing precision.

· Personalization: we also leveraged our identity graph to determine individual motivations


This data driven strategy enhanced our planning approach by shifting us into addressable digital channels where direct integration with our identity graph was possible. We activated in two key ways.

First, we refined our audiences mid-campaign by decile, ranking individuals based on average sale price and station visitation frequency. We then identified the highest performing attributes within each audience segment, reconstructing the audiences using data-modeling so we could redeploy them. Initial audiences were launched in Q2 so that refined audiences were ready prior to summer’s peak driving season, maximizing our opportunity to impact purchase volume.

Second, we served bespoke messaging for each audience with multiple creative versions across channels. Each message was derived from audience insights to deliver a relevant experience for each consumer.

Our “Premium Prospects” messaging encouraged drivers to “choose the premium fuel as driven as you are.” While our “Station Splitters” messaging incentivized, “care for your car


The results of our data-driven approach far exceeded industry benchmarks and expectations. Historically, custom audience segmentation measured by third-party audience partners delivers a 10% lift in sales. Our results exceeded this benchmark threefold!

We evaluated audiences against average transaction value and average number of purchases compared to a general market consumer. Initial audience segments delivered a 5% lift in premium sales.After refinement,our data-driven audience approach delivered a 22% lift in number of transactions and a 30% lift in premium fuel sales, validating our continuous learning.

Our Station Splitter audience had the highest performance with a 44% lift in premium fuel sales.

The lift in sales translated to an ROI lift of 1:1.6, an all-time high for the brand. Our results inspired the brand to continue to invest in an agile, precision and personalization approach, enhancing it in 2022 by leveraging first-party sales data.

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