Shell, the oil company that has seen its fair share of PR debacles, last night made a bold sponsorship deal with satirical weekly magazine 100Most as title sponsor for new awards program named "毛記電視第一屆十大勁曲金曲分獎典禮".
Bold because the awards show lacked credibility (according to 100Most founder Roy Tsui "林日曦") since winners were selected solely by 100Most management. And bold because the show was linked to many controversial social affairs that were mocked throughout the evening, and bold because the whole concept of the show itself was a spoof of TVB’s “Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation” (十大勁歌金曲頒獎典禮).
All these elements presented a big risk to Shell and its troubled company image.
In an interview with Marketing two months ago, 100Most founder Roy Tsui said the company faced challenges in securing sponsors partners because of "existing uncertainties", but were in no way affected the launch of the show as it's "meant for fun and unnecessary to earn a profit".
Facing potential hazards on these fronts, Shell inked sponsorship deal with 100Most in late November, putting its CRM programme "Shell Bonus Card" at the forefront of its sponsorship.
The partnership, as Shell's cluster payment and loyalty manager Vanessa Tsang said, is built upon a shared believe to "bring happiness to customers".
"100Most's humorous approach perfectly echoes with our brand notion - to inject more happiness into our daily lives and to promote positive energy in society," Tsang told Marketing.
Well, it paid off. Although the amount invested in the sponsorship was not disclosed, brand exposure was huge.
The hashtag #多謝Shell (#thankyouShell) has gone viral on social media, with related Facebook posts hitting around 10,000 likes each. The latest post about the show has reached more than 40,000 likes, with a special post giving thanks to Shell also secured 5,000 or so likes.
"Although likes and views on social media and their impact on our business are difficult to measure, we're happy with the overwhelming response from the public as building a brand is a long-term effort."
It's known that many multinational corporations have difficulty seeking approval for local activations and sponsorship, but Tsang said Shell's headquarter allowed a certain degree of freedom for its local strategy, which is important for success. The awards show was broadcast live by media partner now TV.