Staff Reporters
Feb 17, 2016

CASE STUDY How Shell used programmatic to drive engagement at the pump

Midway through 2015, Shell needed to continue to build momentum around a Lego promotion run earlier in the year. Its programmatic video advertising campaign for the V-Power Lego 2 promotion, launched alongside TubeMogul and MediaCom, increased sales and petrol station visits in Hong Kong.

wide player in 16:9 format. Used on article page for Campaign.

Shell’s objective was to create buzz around the collectible Shell V-Power Lego set of branded vehicles and accessories, with the ultimate goal of increasing the total number of visits to Shell stations.

In tandem with interactive video firm Innovid, TubeMogul and MediaCom, Shell created an interactive microsite to engage users, combining elements that encouraged consumers to visit a Shell petrol station.

According to Adrian Lee, head of digital at MediaCom Hong Kong: “Shell Hong Kong had a very specific business objective to achieve with their re-launched Shell V-Power Lego activation. Once MediaCom discovered there were video assets available and that the core communications objectives were to drive interaction and excitement, we immediately knew TubeMogul was going to be the best-fit partner.

“The TubeMogul team worked very closely with us to ensure that Shell not only developed an eye-catching interactive video but also distributed it to the most relevant audience too using their advanced technology platform. Both the campaign performance and Shell’s business results are testament to the strength of both MediaCom and TubeMogul’s capabilities.” 



Over 76 percent of Hong Kong’s residents own an internet connected device, making digital one of the most important media touch points for Shell’s tech-savvy audience. Online video offers an unmatched ability to raise awareness by reaching over 90 percent of Hong Kong residents.

Shell decided to leverage its branding relationship with LEGO, combined with interactive video, programmatic software, and social elements to drive increased awareness and increase store engagement.



Shell identified car drivers aged 25-64 with children as the most likely to appreciate Shell’s partnership with Lego.

'Kidult' fans of either Lego or Ferrari cars, or individuals who had taken part in the original Lego promotion, were identified as key influencers who would use word-of-mouth to raise organic awareness.

But to really set themselves apart in a crowded market, Shell knew it had to provide an exceptional experience that left viewers wanting more. To do this, MediaCom needed two things: an interactive ad promotion that viewers could engage with, along with programmatic tools to verify it had reached the audience by measuring viewability and engagement rates in relevant, brand-friendly environments.


The interactive microsite activated when a viewer clicked or hovered for two seconds on the banner at the bottom of the unit. Once activated, the unit expanded to three different features:

1. A 360-degree carousel display of the full selection of Lego cars available—similar to those found on actual auto manufacturer websites.

2. Module offering local pricing and Shell forecourt pickup information.

3. Social tools for and web drivers for viewers to share their experiences and help drive traffic to to learn more about VPower Fuel.

TubeMogul’s advanced algorithms combined contextual, behavioural and cookie-based audience targeting strategies and enabled Shell to reach Hong Kong viewers who were interested in or had watched automobile, driving, Ferrari, Lego collectables or family-related video content.




TubeMogul’s software provided real-time site-level transparency and optimization, ensuring optimal performance and improving cost efficiency while the platform’s built-in brand safety tools ensured no ads appeared alongside content that could potentially be watched by children. Content that was negative towards the Shell brand, and car racing or driving accidents, were also blacklisted.



The combination of the interactive expandable execution and TubeMogul’s programmatic platform exceeded expectations and drove qualified traffic to both Shell’s landing page website and Shell petrol forecourts, increasing their fuel sales too by over 3 percent, nearly three times their initial goal.

Shell V-Power fuel sales grew to 30 percent, exceeding expectations by over 30 percent. Over 6,000 Hong Kong viewers spent an average 33 seconds with the interactive unit, the highest dwell time out of every international market the campaign ran in, validating online video’s effectiveness and the content-led approach.

The resulting 3.2 percent engagement rate far surpassed the Hong Kong industry benchmark of 2 percent and drove over 1,200 viewers to Shell’s website. Over the six-week campaign, TubeMogul’s algorithms optimised performance and delivery to help Shell generate almost 185,000 video views at a cost-per-view under US$3, significantly more cost-efficient than previous Shell video campaigns.

Viewability rates exceeded TubeMogul’s benchmarks, demonstrating that Shell’s ads were actually seen, and viewers that were retargeted were 50 per cent more likely to view and engage with the video than viewers reached through interest-based and topical video targeting.






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