Quaker State promo either brilliant or silly. YOU decide!

In Memorable Marketing, The Marketing Microscope on June 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Simple. Start using Quaker State when you get your car’s oil changed for the first time, keep using Quaker State throughout its life, and drive it until you hit the magic 300,000-mile mark. Then, voila – QS will give you a check for the Bluebook value of your car. Not  to BUY it from you, just a reward, in the form of a check for whatever it’s worth at that point. That’s the whole promotion.

The positives? For consumers, it offers a little extra dough, though not much and only after a LONG while – just for choosing one brand of oil consistently, which probably doesn’t matter very much to them. For  Quaker State,  it reinforces the perception that the product helps your car last longer, so it’s “on strategy.” And it doesn’t risk much, since  very few people will keep one car that long, and 300,000-mile cars tend not to be worth much anyway. People who DO are the dedicated car buffs, and if it helps them choose Quaker State each time, that’s great.

The negatives? Well, for one thing, most people realize all the things I just said. And they just might roll their eyes and say,gee, my reward for driving this hunk of junk that long is whatever pittance someone says it’s worth at that point? BIG DEAL.

So I can’t decide. It makes strategic sense, but it is so low-risk for the company, how exciting can it be for customers? I suspect they could have offered a new car (okay, up to $20k) for anyone who made it.  Or why not make it 400,000 and give them an exciting new sports car, or vintage Corvette or something.

Bottom line is, I like things that are different enough to be interesting, and somehow relate to the selling premise. Both those apply here. But somehow it just aims so low…..

What do YOU think? Let me know. Hey, if we make it to 10 comments, I’ll give the poster of comment # 30 a great prize!  (A quart of Quaker State. And a plastic funnel I’ll guarantee for, oh  your next 100 oil changes!))

  1. This is strictly for those who like a challenge…and who are probably unable to tie their shoes while chewing gum…..let alone remember to keep all their receipts as proof of oil changes, required maintenance let alone that they can get a check for $18.27 in scrap value minus the rust…in about 25years. Let’s see: 300K miles at $4 a gallon……

  2. It’s going to take awhile to get to the 30th comment for someone to win the oil! Maybe I’ll get 300,000 miles on my car by then! The one you borrowed from Erik had 260,000 miles on it….

    • Yes, hasn’t generated quite what I had hoped. I guess that’s an indication of the answer, in a way. Guess I’ll have to up the prize next time, or set the crossbar a little lower. Hey, no fair adding 29 more comments to win it. (Or 28, if this counts as one.)

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