Shell Pivots from TV to Social Responsibility Storytelling

Posted on by Patty Odell

Shell corporate has made major shifts in its marketing strategy. It has not run a TV spot for years—except in China—and has shifted from 80% traditional marketing to 85% content creation and digital.

All of the content focuses on its corporate social responsibility activities, like working with an entrepreneur who converts waste from coffee into biofuels and sponsoring the world’s first bus service fueled by coffee in London. The video content is shared on social channels like Facebook Live, Twitter and the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo.

Shell’s group head of integrated brand communications and capability, Malena Cutuli, told ClickZ that the brand storytelling content is created based on which social platform it will be distributed and where its target spends time, not the other way around—create the content first and then figure out where to post it. The focus on mobile is “super important” and all of the storytelling content Shell produces is required to be optimized for mobile.

Marketers have turned to storytelling and promoting their work in social responsibility as way to earn credibility and loyalty with consumers, who distrust advertising.

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer found that the credibility of corporate leaders is in peril: CEO credibility dropped 12 points globally to an all-time low of 37%, plummeting in every country studied. That lack of trust trickles down to consumers and can be shored up with social responsibility storytelling. According to Edelman, business is viewed as the only institution of the four it studied—government, media and non-governmental organizations—that can make a difference. “Three out of four respondents agree a company can take actions to both increase profits and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates,” Edelman reported.

Cutuli shares numerous examples of the video content it has produced and shared, including Powering Human Progress, a partnership with the New York Times, Reverse Engineers and Best Day of My Life, video viewed 26 million times in the first three weeks after it was published. Shell uses Tumblr as its home base for all of its #makethefuture content. Cutuli hopes the content will be more than just entertainment and education and drive people to action and to support causes they care about. Read the article …

Shell’s Best Day of My Life Video:

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