The most CO2-friendly route is truly a PR first idea – an idea, experiment and research that touches everyone driving a car and that got published in automotive and other media around the world. The work was solely relying on earned media.
Neste, an energy company, is on a long-term strategic transformation from oil refinery to a global leader in renewable and circular solutions. While working on Neste’s consumer app, we found an insight: navigation systems provide the shortest or fastest route as default option – but not the most co2-friendly one. Thus often providing us the wrong option for the environment. Just by choosing the right route, drivers can save tons of co2 emissions.
1. First objective was to raise this significant insight globally and utilise it to drive a behavior change. We targeted people through global and local media – the first step to behavioral change is to bring attention to the subject and make people aware of.
2. The second objective was to position Neste as a modern company reflecting their long-term strategic transition from oil refinery to a global leader in renewable and circular solutions.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
The idea was driven by data and machine learning, yet was touching a topic relevant to most people - driving. A new finding, proven via an experiment, was at the core of the “most co2 friendly route project. With the help of data we discovered that most navigation systems default routes are not the most co2 friendly ones. Meaning that navigation systems provide us the wrong option for the environment. It leads to the fact that people tend to lean on the fastest or shortest route – which are not always the most co2-friendly ones. Our idea was to emphasise that the default route choice is often a bad choice for the environment.
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
Automotive is a high interest category and there’s lots of publications looking for content. Our insight (the suggested route by navigational software is not the most CO2 friendly one) and our idea (the most CO2 friendly route) is interesting for a broad audience. Our key message “Often, the suggested route by navigation software is not the most CO2 friendly one.“ was often used in media headlines. The target audience are companies and individuals alike – companies which are interesting from a collaboration point of view for Neste, and individuals which amplify the idea and subject. The insight helped to collaborate and form a strategic partnership.
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
Our main focus was on sharing the research and experiments, flavoured with practical advice on fuel savings during commutes and short trips in urban areas, a topic highly interesting for media and automotive media. In order to achieve best coverage in core markets, we had localized press releases, which proved to help coverage in the smaller market areas with less resources. For bigger local markets like Finland, we had additional pitching to journalists to ensure a wide coverage. We also targeted lead media to ensure a further organic spreading of the project. The research and experiment took many months to conduct and analyze, the PR publishing and pitching phase was approx. 3 weeks.
List the results (30% of vote)
We achieved more than 90 media hits, especially in Neste’s core markets Scandinavia and Baltics, which is a significant amount of media hits for the smaller markets. The reach was 138 million, and unique visitors totalled at 38 millions. The sentiment of the coverage was positive (meltwater, businesswire reporting, Neste’s own measurement), and the shared research and information caused people to discuss, share and rethink their driving routes in social media, eg. with a twitter reach of 100.000. While it is difficult to attribute sales for one project for a global company, sales in key markets increased by approximately 10%. Also, as a less tangible result, Neste keeps on working with the strategic partners from this project to further develop and implement better navigation and other digital projects.