Shell (Brand) / Imagination (Agency)

Please tell us what you did to create an experience that gave users trust in your product or service, and help us understand what makes your approach to building trust noteworthy or exceptional.: 

The future of the environment is something that affects everyone. By 2050, there will be 2 billion more people on Planet Earth. Our biggest challenge will be to ensure there is enough food, water and energy for all.
In emerging markets, like the Philippines, where the middle classes are now entering the consumer market en-masse the opportunities to educate people on the cause and effect relationship our energy and lifestyle choices have on the environment, and on the future of the planet, is especially pronounced.
In a country so impacted by extreme weather, and after the catastrophic typhoon of 2013, the impact of human behavior on the environment is always going to be highly topical and relevant.

The aim of the Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia event was to inspire new ideas to address the complex issues posed by the energy-water-food nexus in the Philippines, as well as across Asia.
Students from universities across Asia were challenged to design and build an energy-efficient vehicle and compete to see who could travel the furthest on the least amount of fuel.
The on-track action was supported by the Shell Energy Lab, an interactive experience dedicated to the future of energy, technology and mobility that seeks to engage visitors in a deeper conversation about the big challenges that we will face in coming decades.
Building Trust Through Engagement & Education:
The energy industry has been beset by negative publicity for several years, yet our lives are more dependent on energy than ever before, whether directly through increased personal consumption, or indirectly through increased consumer consumption.
While our need for energy shows no sign of abating, the future success of energy firms will be driven by innovation and consumer education – discovering new energy sources, while helping people make smarter decisions about the way we live.
Recognizing the broader engagement opportunity that exists from looking at Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) not as an event, but as a platform, Imagination have worked with Shell in the creation of the Energy Lab and a series of customer-centric activities, integrated across digital, physical and social platforms that are engaging, educational and importantly, shareable.
This range of associated activities leverage the innovation and action of SEM - taking it to an audience that goes beyond the 800+ engineering students participating and engages with the general public, government representatives, business and civil society, NGOs, media and business partners.
Each asset has been created to deliver on a particular communication goal, but the strength of the SEM platform is in its ability to take a broad story – which consumers may be initially cynical about – and to bring it to life in a tangible, relevant way showing Shell as a brand that is able to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to its environmental credentials.
Why Experience Led?
Within the Energy Lab itself, we have sought to create new kinds of experiences by combining different technologies together in unique ways, rather than just trying to develop ‘off the shelf’ experiences. This approach has facilitated creative ideas that include everything from energy generating ‘Zorbs’ to a kinetic dance floor, interactive touch-screens and augmented reality, to physical installations.
The use of RFID technology throughout ensures that every asset was shareable, and that relevant and interesting information could be saved and accessed later – maximizing engagement far beyond the event itself.
Shell’s energy story is too broad to communicate through traditional media, whilst ATL activities that seek to address the major narratives attract a high level of cynicism.
Building the activity around an event that has been part of Shell’s history for 75 years allowed us to create a platform that is credible, whilst the addition of the Energy Lab allowed us to tell the whole Energy story in a way that is entirely personalized, immersive and fun – breaking down any in-built cynicism, and allowing Shell to be actively involved in a consumer conversation that would not otherwise have been possible.
What triumphs and struggles emerged from trying to balance business needs with the desire to have users trust your product or service?: 

Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 welcomed more than 105 student teams from Asia and the Middle East competing to build the ultimate energy efficient vehicle put to the test on the first street circuit in Asia.
Sharing and interaction can only happen if the right environment is created. For the event in Manila, Imagination started with a clean canvas, a green-field 100,000 m2 site, and created an event of epic proportions, and the results, obtained with no ATL promotion, couldn’t be more impressive:
  • On-site registration of over 35,000 people and over 18,500 individually activated Lab passes over the 4 opening days.
  • 80,000 RFID interactions, equalling a total of 4,923,896 engaged minutes recorded.
  • 94% visitor satisfaction.
  • 90,000 pieces of unique content.
  • Total Twitter reach of 7.3 million.
  • Total media reach of over 100 million.

  • RFID proved vital in ensuring people spent time seeking out and interacting with multiple stories throughout the Energy Lab.
  • Planet You quiz ensured audiences engaged deeply with it – an average of 6,045 visitors answered each question.
  • The Tweetwall in the Paddock was great at encouraging students and visitors and their friend and followers to post images and tweets.
  • Visitors in Manila are super active – interactions and content collected or created per visitor are twice than visitors in SEM Rotterdam, and twitter traffic was double.

Overall, Imagination’s project team managed to exceed Shell’s expectations for their first ever Eco-marathon event in Manila, Philippines, by successfully delivering one of the largest corporate events in the APAC region, and by exceeding guest engagement and content amplification levels.
Plus, the involvement from participants and the local community keeps growing year on year, with 120 teams from 17 countries participating, more local partners involved, and many more visitors expected in SEM Asia 2015.