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Mobil1 vs. Elf | Automotive Lubricants: Advertising Battle| fresh on the Romanian Market

April 12, 2010 1 comment

Spring has arrived and our minds wonder off to summer holiday… it’s also Oil Change Time.

The automotive lubricants market has just awakened from the numbness of winter crisis… last fall, Bucharest looked like a waterfall of automotive lubricant’s outdoor panels, radio spots airing in every news section, flash banners shining on every corner of the automotive market web publications. The winter jammed everything and so all the lubricants on the market vanished from all media channels.

Last week I just saw the new shinny Mobil 1 outdoor banner across town, so close to the Renault Fluence’ outdoor advertising panel, that it seemed like they were merging into a single outdoor panel.
Renault and Elf (lubricant brand) are worldwide partners in F1 competition and passenger cars. So imagine my surprise when I saw Mobil 1’s outdoor panel…it’s competing directly with Elf.

On the Romanian market, if Mobil 1 is competing for Elf’s position in Renault’s heart, I really wonder about the outcome… Mobil 1 is a very strong competitor on the motor oil Romanian market while Elf is without a current local Brand Manager but has the advantage of a worldwide partnership?

The most probable outcome will be that Independent Garages as well as Renault Dealers in Romania, which used to buy Elf motor oil for Renault passenger cars will, most likely buy Mobil 1 this spring, as consumer’s mind is associating the new Renault Fluence with Mobil 1; most certainly, the after-market clients will express a special request on their lubricant oil change– based on the Mobil 1 commercials next to Renault’s.

Mobil 1 sets an example of marketing shrewdness…it’s a statement: this is how you gain market share and increase your brand’s value.

Maybe Renault Fluence owners won’t buy Mobil 1 because in the new car market, the warranty is kept only on Elf Oil Change, but it will strongly damage Elf brand’s image in the mind of Renault after-market consumer.

I approached this case study because it’s always interesting to watch the brands go to war for that one special place in the consumer’s mind and Mobil 1 is an example of aggressive advertising.