In 2009, Chevron Global Marketing launched a new campaign for Texaco with Techron gasoline. It was called “Tex Message,” and intended to depict the subject line of a text message at the top of ad executions. The campaign was supposed to connect with customers in a modern tone and style while still communicating the brand benefits of using the Texaco brand.
Unfortunately, the campaign fell short of its goal and eventually fizzled out. While in theory, referencing new technologies seemed like a smart move for Texaco, the campaign didn’t resound with consumers. The company used tried-and-true media – TV, radio, print, point of purchase materials, and out-of-home, to be exact – to reach a younger audience, but they missed the boat entirely by not leveraging social media, word of mouth and mobile marketing tactics. If it was the younger consumer they had in mind, why didn’t they actually use the new media platforms this target audience uses?
Texaco shows us that people will see right through you if you tack trends onto the same-old, same-old. Integrating new media is not achieved simply by referencing cultural trends. There’s just no point in trying to leverage new technologies like texting if your brand isn’t effectively participating in them. Texaco should have taken cues from Zippo and McDonalds – those are some brands that can integrate authentically.