Valvoline is an America icon. The company invented motor oil in 1866, and they’ve been reinventing it ever since. It’s one of those unique companies that wearing the logo is a badge of pride and a signal to others that you get it, that you’re part of the culture.
This is a unique position for a brand, especially one looking to strengthen loyalty because of the latency between purchases, where consumers likely see hundreds of competitive ads between change intervals. Where that could be a challenge, we felt that it’s also a massive opportunity to build an unbreakable loyalty in a way that only Valvoline could make happen. We could market totally differently, and change the game altogether.
Chief Creative Officer
Cornett | Valvoline Brand Team
We started digging through the archives of Valvoline’s storage facility, overflowing with boxes of vintage merch and stacks of old photographs ranging from Al Unser Jr.’s Indy 500 victory in ‘91 to historial ads and retail displays. The diamond in the rough was a small magazine series titled Valvoline World. As we looked further, we found dozens of the publication form the 1980’s featuring an entire culture beyond racing. Somewhere between a company newsletter and machinery and motorsports publication, this piece of the brands history gave us the creative license to look at Valvoline as a publisher and contributor of car culture, and not just an advertiser.
Maximizing the already powerful partnerships in place with Hendrick Motorsports and others, we created a comprehensive digital strategy and robust content marketing plan to bring the vision to life. Dusting off some vintage Team Valvoline merch, we created a new logo and were off to the races.
Big Data is thrown around a lot in marketing, but few digital platforms stack up against Team Valvoline's data and analytics models that power the user experience of nearly one million users.
With partnerships with Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmy Johnson, Chris Forsberg, Ryan Tuerck and any array of other celebrities, influencers and motorsports personalities, Team Valvoline adds a quantifiable layer across the digital ecosystem.
We worked with everyone from Valvoline engineers to their executive team and unearthed incredible stories. Giving voice to their expertise and insights from DIYers and grass roots races to build community continues to add to the legendary brands passion for automotive. From these conversations, the creative strategy of Forever Racing was born - the idea that as enthusiasts, car guys, builders and racers, we share tips and resources as a community but on the weekends, we’re fiercely competitive. This shaped Team Valvoline into an informational content hub to share the tips and tricks of some of the greatest minds in automotive while also valuing the entertainment aspect of the culture. Sharing stories like Blood, Sweat & Gears and original series like New Terrain: The Baja Project opened a new world of marketing for the brand as a vehicle to building loyalty and advocacy.
The content marketing hub built on a complex data platform integrates a loyalty program for purchases and activities. Rewarding viewership and content consumption, while built around quantifiable metrics to add value to user experience separates Team Valvoline from other loyalty platforms. Creating audience relevant shows and targeting marketing programs, retailers benefit from email marketing and relevant products weave into My Cars maintenance apps for an efficient direct-to-consumer experience.