How BP Fueled "Emotional Affinity" for Gas

BP solar ad from 2004The energy company BP's rebranding as "Beyond Petroleum," led by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, is reviewed by Adweek's Gregory Solman. The campaign was launched in 2000, after multiple mergers left BP wanting "to replace its multiple brand images with a distinct and uniform identity." Research done by WPP's BrandZ revealed "a crucial insight about selling fuel." Unlike other products, motor fuels hadn't developed much "brand affinity" among consumers. "Ogilvy's team resolved to build the BP brand with 'real equity and emotional affinity beyond the products and services themselves,'" explained Ogilvy's John Seifert. "In other words, there was plenty of room for emotional attachment to a fuel company." Part of the campaign, "BP on the Street," sought to earn "street cred" by holding public forums to project "more humility, more transparency, more openness." Seven years later, "brand awareness" for BP has increased to 67 percent (from four percent in 2000), and marketing surveys have identified BP as the "greenest" energy brand.