#CWC2019 Insight: Gulf Oil with Dhoni and Pandya aims to promote quality, passion via #CheerWithPride this World Cup

Sneha Yadav
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Gulf Oil World Cup Campaign

This ICC World Cup, Gulf Oil is keeping it's social media pages bustling with contests and giveaways for fans and plans to leverage the cricket fever back home to its core.

The cricket World Cup is the biggest event for the cricket crazy fans of the Indian Sub-continent sans doubt. Hence, it is a great time for brands to engage with their customers and fans in a creative manner to generate brand salience. This insight led Gulf Oil to join the bandwagon and launched an engaging World Cup Campaign titled '#CheerWithPride' for their Motorcycle Oils segment.

Campaign Insight

Cricket is a religion in the Indian Sub-Continent and Gulf Oil wanted to engage with fans in a creative manner. The brief to the agency was 2 fold:-

  • Engage with fans in a creative and unique manner to establish and build brand salience. Leverage our association with 2 champions from the national cricket team – MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya in a creative manner.
  • Focus on Gulf Oil’s flagship brand – Pride 4T motorcycle engine oil. The rationale was to use all media to drive sales and recall for this product. We had a TV campaign planned with strong on-ground promotions for the same.

Objective to be achieved

Gulf Oil’s association with sports brings out its core brand values of Quality, endurance and Passion. "We believe that this is a great time to leverage our association with cricket and our association with cricket icon, MS Dhoni and the emerging sensation, Hardik Pandya to build brand affinity and recall. Ours is a multi-layered campaign – we have a TV campaign for our flagship product Pride 4T Motorcycle engine oil. We are supporting it with a strong digital campaign which is fun, humorous and contextual. Our digital campaign brings to life the qualities of our motorcycle oil through our mascot – Mr.Pride. We are building a strong on-ground leg to the whole campaign with our trade partners as well," shared Anuradha Bose, Strategic Brand & Marketing Officer, Gulf Oil.

The Brief

Chockalingam S, Creative Director, OPN Advertising informs that the requirement was to come up with a digital campaign that would increase fan engagement on Gulf's social media pages and build a strong association between Gulf and the WC in the minds of the fans thereby improving brand recall.

Also Read: Insight: The making of Samsung’s India, Ready, Action

From Conceptualization to Execution

Given the Gulf Oils' requirement of a campaign for Pride Motorcycle engine oils, it was decided to bring back 'Mr. Pride', the mascot developed for Gulf Oil’s Pride 4T oil. Mr. Pride was introduced as Team India's "Cheer Coach" to capitalise on the emotion that the World Cup brings out in every Indian cricket fan – pride in the national team. Mr. Pride's job was to lead the fan army to cheer for one goal: showing their support for the team with pride (literally and figuratively), through engagement on Gulf Oil's social handles.

With this in place, every activity envisioned for the campaign revolved around Mr. Pride, his designation as "Cheer Coach", and what the fans could do to #CheerWithPride for Team India.

Execution: From the get-go, the campaign was 100% digital. As a curtain-raiser, a video featuring MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Mr. Pride was shot, showcasing Mr. Pride's new role as the team's Cheer Coach. The video also set the ball rolling on the #CheerWithPride contest that was created for the fans. In this contest, the fans had to come up with 'cheer slogans' with the word "Pride" in them, and share them on the social media handles with the campaign hashtag. When the video went live on Gulf's pages, the contest garnered widespread interest with the fans, and saw a rapid influx of entries.

To further boost fan engagement, a series of creative posts that featured Mr. Pride's involvement with India at the World Cup were put up on the brands' social handles regularly.

After the contest had gained traction, the winners of the trip to England were announced on social media, with consolation prizes for the others to appreciate the efforts put in by all the fans.

All these contributed towards cementing #CheerWithPride as a solid brand promo campaign for Gulf Oil India.

Putting up a distinct show

The primary objective set during the campaign conceptualization was to not have it be excessively derivative, as today's social media users constantly demand original content.

Chockalingam S shared that the central idea was for the campaign to have an identity signature to Gulf Oil India, which was not borrowed from other ideas. Therefore, Mr. Pride was roped in, to give the campaign a unique touch. The campaign was also purely digital, which provided a lot of room for ideation and execution, stepping aside from the tried-and-tested TVC routes. Overall, the challenge was more about solidifying the unique identity for Gulf Oil than making it consciously different from other campaigns.

On-Ground activations to keep the buzz on


Gulf Champion Banana delivery convoy, made-up of a Gulf-liveried Aston Martin
Vantage GT8 and Mitsubishi pick-up, set-off from Gulf offices in Central

London, passing by Lord’s – the Home of Cricket – The Oval and Hampshire County

Cricket ground in Southampton on England’s south coast, before arriving at

their final destination -  the Grand Harbour Hotel.

The Gulf Oil team delivered a whole truck full of bananas to the hotel with their best wishes for Team India – thus doing their bit to help ensure that the Indian cricket team gets off to a flying start tomorrow against the Proteas. “Start Mast Toh Din Zabardast” – which translates as ‘Good thing begin with a good start’ – is the credo of Gulf Battery and therefore seems very appropriate for this particular mission.

Media Mix and Digital Play

"Media mix is always a function of the consumption patterns of our target audience. While we continue to invest in television, data shows that our customers and channel partners are consuming a lot of content on digital," Bose elucidates. Hence Gulf Oil is investing in digital to build engagement and interactivity with its customers and this investment has been gradually increasing. She also claimed that today, Gulf Oil is one of the highest engaged brands on social media.

Rationale behind associating with Cricket

Normally brands would look for resonance of the particular event with their target audience before selecting a particular sporting event. In Gulf Oil's case, cricket is not only the universal language of India, but it also resonates with its brand values. "Our brand values of Quality, endurance and passion are perfectly brought to life in the game of cricket. This is also the reason why we have Mr.M S Dhoni as our brand ambassador and Hardik Pandya as the face of our Gulf Pride batteries," Bose signed off.

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