"Born This Way: The Modifiers"

Client: Nulon
Product: Motor Oils
Title: Born This Way: The Modifiers
Media: Online Films
Country: Australia
Date Of Campaign: September 2016 to December 2017

Background: Nulon is an independent, family-owned, Australian motor oil brand, founded in 1980. Their competitors – Shell, Castrol, Valvoline – are global giants with massive marketing budgets and over 100 years of brand affinity passed down from father to son while working under the hood. Nulon needed to grow share of voice in the Aussie market to increase share of wallet. There were big challenges:1. Nulon’s budget is a fraction of the big brands.2. Nulon relies on shelf space in auto retailers. Due to declining sales, Nulon was about to be ‘delisted’ from Australia’s largest retail chain ‘SuperCheap Auto’. 2. The target audience is dwindling in size because car owners are becoming less mechanically-minded, and cars getting more advanced and complex, resulting in far fewer motorists who actively get under the hood with a spanner and change their own oil. In fact, the Australian Motor Vehicle Census of 2016 shows that just 15% of car owners do any DIY engine work themselves – just under 2.5 million people.However, our research showed these 2.5 million car owners aren’t just doing the odd bit of DIY. They tinker, they modify, they get grease under their nails, join clubs and attend events where they get to race their pride and joy. They live for it. Our audience is fanatic about improving cars, just like Nulon.

Idea: Firstly, we developed the creative platform ‘Born This Way’ – a positioning based on our shared passion for motors. Then we had to prove it. We couldn’t afford big media or wastage, so we developed a strategy using online branded content using data from Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube to specifically target Aussie car-lovers. Anyone who watched one film would be retargeted with others in the campaign.We launched ‘Born This Way’ with a branded content film and followed with a series of 5 mini-documentaries called ‘Born This Way: The Modifiers’. Each episode focused on a real Aussie car-lover with an amazing vehicle they’d built themselves.These are no ordinary guys and girls. They are the epitome of our car-loving audience: from Jim who spent 14,000 hours over 11 years hand-crafting every single part of his one-of-a-kind GT40 sports car; or Steve the Aussie Olympic medallist whose secret passion is his 1972 RX-3 – the world’s fastest; and Chris who discovered his beloved $5000 Torana of 22 years was actually an incredibly rare Peter Brock A9X worth $300,000.However, the mini-series was an immediate hit so we kept going. So far, we have produced 30 episodes.In addition to the films being pushed out in sponsored posts, they also formed a Nulon YouTube channel, and each episode was amplified with teasers and static posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using targeted data. Each story was also written as a long-form article and published on Nulon’s Born This Way blog, going deeper into the technical aspects of each car.The interactive endframe of each film bears the call-to-action to subscribe to the series, #nulonbornthisway, as well as a button to view the previous film in the series and a button to see a playlist of all films in the series.

Results: Even though the content series was merely ‘presented by Nulon’ and avoided ANY product placement or overt messaging, retail sales went through the roof.Likes, shares and chatter spread the series far and wide across auto clubs and workshops, bringing the Nulon brand along with it. Viewers sought out the Nulon channel, connected with the brand on social media, and ultimately reached for the Nulon logo on the shelf rather than a competitor’s oilThe 30 films in the ‘Modifiers’ series have had a total of 12,516,738 video views, reaching 2.47 million unique Australians. That’s 100% of our Aussie car-loving audience thanks to the data-based targeting and retargeting, putting the Nulon brand in front of every potential customer.Sales data from Australia’s largest retail stockists (SuperCheap Auto, AutoOne, AutoPro, etc) shows an incremental sales increase of 16.3% YOY across the range of Nulon products. More importantly, the two primary motor oil products have had unprecedented sales growth, with +36% sales increase of Nulon's Synthetic Semi-Diesel Oil and 48% sales increase of Nulon's Full Synthetic Oil over the past year of the content campaign.Remember how Australia’s largest auto retail chain was about to kick Nulon products off the shelves? Well, not only was Nulon’s contract reinstated at a better rate, but Nulon was awarded ‘Best Marketing’ by that retail chain in their national retail awards.Nulon's Marketing Manager, Tom Murray has said, “The Born This Way content series has proven to be a unique and highly engaging platform whilst providing efficient and effective brand reach. Importantly the series has set the Nulon brand apart within the categories in which we compete”.It should be noted, Nulon produces no ATL advertising, and relies solely on this content, SEO, and in-store POS.

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