When you think of the oil and gas industry, the images that immediately come to mind are of heavy equipment, derricks and large refineries. Not cartoons. However, when you are trying to communicate to an industry that has significant opportunity to improve processes—specifically around water treatment—doing something different goes a long way. You need to craft a story thats stands out. That demonstrates the value of process changes that have a profound economic effect on an industry driven by profit.
Through research it was uncovered that oil and gas had one of the largest and fastest growing online presences due to an evolving workforce and greater technological opportunities to improve operations. This was largely due to a wave of younger, more impressionable engineers that were hungry for new methodologies and approaches to bring to their companies.
To demonstrate the expertise Dow had to share around water treatment, my team and I created an approach that would package thought leadership and their solutions in a unique and story-driven way. Enter the adventures of Jack Crude. But don’t be fooled by his conservative tatters. He’s a character that embodies the contemporary mindset of taking on water process challenges in an historically conservative and risk adverse segment. And he’s a man of opportunity, in the same way as the new wave of engineers we were targeting. His story would be a platform that allowed new and old ideologies to clash, playout and resolve, in a long-format, episodic web comic series.
To bring the story of Jack Crude to life and engage audiences, a launch strategy was developed to roll out the web comic series. The approach combined content strategy, targeted social media and marketing automation. Starting with an animated video trailer, we primed audiences for the release of the bi-weekly web comic and drove them to a landing page to sign up for the upcoming series. With each installment of the web comic a call to action was included for readers to participate in a Dow sponsored webinar that related to subjects discussed in the chapter.
Offline Jack Crude had a presence inside the Dow booth at industry trade shows and conferences. The trailer was played on monitors, Tablets had samples of the web comic with sign-up forms and Jack Crude swag made its way home with attendees, including a custom cowboy boot koozie.
The courage to take a bold approach to grab attention and connect with this audience payed off. Dow achieved the influence it had hoped for with participation in the program surpassing expectations and creating conversations that lead to new business opportunities. Jack Crude was an unexpected vehicle to establish a dialogue that would otherwise have never occurred. As one customer sales representative said, “People in this industry weren’t thinking about Dow as a solution provider for oil and gas and Jack (Crude) got his boot in the door for us. That’s what we needed.”