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By The Drum | Editorial

November 28, 2023 | 4 min read

Shell Helix and MSQ Partners have won the Automotive category at The Drum Awards for Social Media. Here is the award-winning case study.

Time and time again, brands organise one-off events with influencers as it’s the best activation for them to experience the brand, feel the product and initially provide their key opinion about it. Somehow, influencers event has become an activation that is lacking depth and less impactful for the brand.

May 2023 was a historical date for Shell Helix as we rolled out the first-ever Shell social influencer event #OnTheRoadToMaranello. We brought together 12 influencers from our key markets (China, Thailand, India, Egypt and the UK) with more than 40 million followers, to northern Italy, the home of our innovation partner, Scuderia Ferrari – to feel and experience ‘Ultimate Performance’.

What made it unique? First and foremost, we turned an influencer event into a fully-fledged automotive social media campaign that ran for over three months. We captured the attention of the automotive industry and opinion leaders, with the series of ‘first-evers’ #OnlyWithShellHelix Experience:

1st ever influencer group to enter the ultra-exclusive Ferrari Factory. 1st ever influencer group to drive and drift at the legendary Fiorano circuit (under extreme weather conditions!). 1st ever influencer group to dine with Ferrari drivers Charles LeClerc & Carlos Sainz.

But for a brand like Shell Helix, a lubricants producer, how do we get our influencer to feel and experience ultimate performance? And how do we ensure we are not overshadowed by a prominent brand like Scuderia Ferrari – especially when we are in their territory?

We welcome all influencers at an Italian villa that has been transformed into Shell Helix Ultimate Performance Arcade. This is where they were able to test their performance level through The PurePace Challenge Simulator, The Super Reflex, The Stop and Start Pitstop Challenge and The Precision Challenge.

As a smart and efficient way to create content, we converted the onsite brand experience into social activation through 5-episode of social a gameshow called The Ultimate Performance Challenge. That was just the beginning, this 4-day social event was then turned into a fully-fledged content creation opportunity with more than 200 pieces of content from Shell Helix and influencers rolled out over for more than 3 months. This is unique especially when other brands typically will just roll out a tactical or one-off activation, rather than a strategic social campaign, in conjunction with social influencer event.

Our Objectives:

To turn a social influencer event into a fully-fledged social campaign that last more than 3 months.

To increase brand salience and preference through social activation

To increase impressions, reach and engagement to Shell’s On The Road Page.

Strategic approach: Understanding that value over volume is the most efficient way to create high-performing social content, we curated a once-in-a-lifetime event enabling 12 influencers with more than 40 million+ followers to create more than 200 pieces of Shell Helix branded content (within our 3Cs comms framework) that lasted for more than 3 months.

We transformed our social influencer event into a fully-fledged multichannel social campaign, complete with comprehensive communication framework:

Shell Helix Communication Framework




5-episodes of the Ultimate Performance Challenge where all the influencers compete with each other in games designed to increase awareness of the Shell Helix brand:

The PurePace Challenge

The Super Reflex Challenge

The Ultra Precision Challenge

The Start Stop Challenge

Influencer content during and post event

8-episodes of Shell Helix Social Challenge with Carlos Sainz, where we created branded content with Shell Helix’s unique selling points embedded within these games:

The Whisper Challenge

Emoji Challenge

Mystery Box Challenge

Shell Helix influencer content documenting the journey and recommending the product.

Giveaway contest hosted by all the influencers for followers to win exclusive signed cap from Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc – contest mechanic leads to engagement/followers increase.

Media Awards Case Studies Social Media Case Studies

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