HPCL's Happy Wheels Offer sees participation from over 15 lakh people

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 30, 2009
Using only BTL, Hindustan Petroleum builds saliency and buzz amongst patrons

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), a petroleum major in the public sector, has managed to attract more than 15 lakh consumers through its 'HP Happy Wheels Offer'. The offer, which ran from mid-September till today, created buzz and managed to build equity for the brand.

The Happy Wheels offer was launched in 35 towns across 2,000 HPCL petrol pumps and gave patrons the opportunity to win prizes such as five Maruti Suzuki A-Star cars, 50 TVS Flame SR 125 bikes, 140 Samsung E250i mobile phones, 20 Samsung Star touch mobile phones, 7,000 Instafuel cards worth Rs 500 and free fuel vouchers worth Rs 250.

The entire activity rode on the back of below-the line (BTL) and was tied in with mobile and the Internet, strategically engaging the audience and encouraging participation through SMS to a specific short code.

To participate, consumers had to fill fuel worth a specified amount (Rs 150 for two and three-wheelers and Rs 750 for four-wheelers) and SMS their bill details to the short code, 5676761. In addition, they could access further information through a helpline and website -- www.hphappywheels.com.

Based on a structured verification process, winners were selected through a randomizer on a weekly basis and notified through SMS, phone calls and on the website.

The entire integrated campaign, from conceptualization to execution, was handled by HPCL's creative agency, Leo Burnett and its integrated marketing services agency, Arc Worldwide.

Sharing insights on the campaign strategy, CVS 'Venke' Sharma, senior vice-president and director, Arc Worldwide tells afaqs! "The petrol buying pattern is such that one usually uses a pump close to home or office and only fills in how much petrol is required, rarely going for a full tank. The challenges, therefore, were to increase volume sales. So, for example, if a two-wheeler driver would otherwise fill petrol worth Rs 50, we needed to get him to spend Rs 150 instead; and also to build phenomenal loyalty, which is getting customers to come in only to HPCL pumps, which was an idealistic situation."

Effective BTL advertising at point of sales (POS) using hoardings, standees, banners, leaflets and displays helped garner response, while building brand equity. Within the first week, HPCL got a response of over two lakh entries. The website, too, was successful, with over 32,000 visits since the offer started in September.

An official spokesperson from HPCL says explains why ATL wasn't used for the pan-India campaign. "We didn't want to burn our money by wasting it on TV or print. The idea was not to increase our customer base, but to target existing customers, thereby pushing volume sales."

The strategy thus was, for example, to get 10 customers to buy as much petrol as 100 customers would buy usually. This was the target idea, which the company claims to have achieved over this period. The spokesperson shares that the total spend on the BTL activity was just about Rs 1.5 crore.

"We did not need a pull-in," adds Sharma, "because people need to come to the pump to buy petrol. Therefore, we thought, for this, on-ground activities were required. So what we did was promote awareness for the offer. Participation was made easy with the mobile phone and redemption was offered; people could log on to the site and check if they won, besides the SMS notification they would receive."

© 2009 afaqs!