The ChallengeIn late 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the subsequent rise in fuel costs had created a great deal of pressure from the public and from Congress to reduce prices at the pump. In the controversy over who was to blame for high gas prices, oil refiners received negative media attention and suffered accusations of price-gouging.
Concerned by this increasingly negative perception of the industry and by momentum in Congress towards passing crippling regulations, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) asked Adfero to help it create an education campaign to counter these potentially harmful trends.
The SolutionAdfero consulted on the design of an effective, interactive web site to serve as a base for the NPRA’s “Fuel for America” campaign. However, the focus of Adfero’s involvement was in the post-launch stage, intended to generate site traffic and increase general awareness of the oil refining industry, its processes and its limitations.
With legislative staff as its primary target, the campaign delivered results through a combination of print advertisements, online advertisements and direct mail to staffers on Capitol Hill. Newspaper readers were encouraged to visit the Fuel for America web site by print ads that referenced the site and offered incentives to go there, such as polls and other interactive content. Ads placed in online publications such as Environment & Energy Daily and Congressional Quarterly were particularly effective, as they were included in the frequent email alerts sent by these publications to their many subscribers on the Hill.
Adfero also developed a newsletter, “Fuel for Thought,” which has continued on a bi-monthly basis since the launch of the campaign.
The ResultThe Fuel for America advertisements reached a large number of the campaign’s target demographic, due to successful ad placement techniques and eye-catching creative work. With an improved understanding of the industry among Congressional staff, the over-regulation feared by the NPRA did not come to pass: The 109th session of Congress ended without the implementation of any measures that would have adversely affected the industry’s interests.