The auto lubricants market is chocka with brands, all looking and behaving somewhat similarly with their marketing. While awareness of the Mobil range of motor oils is high, being a premium product they wanted to solidify that position and generate more brand loyalty with New Zealand’s large auto-enthusiast crowd - people who pour a lot of love and attention into their vehicles. So starting in 2022, they and their brand ambassador, motorsport legend Greg Murphy went on the hunt for New Zealand’s meanest machine.

The Mobil Mean Machine competition was created to cut through the sea of same in the lubricant category. And it was designed around leveraging user-generated content to show that people who care for their cars align with Mobil. Year 1 of the competition was broken into phases: 1) calls for entry; 2) public voting to find a top 20; 3) finalists announced. First we researched and found the right platform (Shortstack) to host and apply the right competition mechanics. Our strategy was to load the bulk of the paid marketing activity into phase 1 as the more entries the better phase 2 would go. Phase 2 was specifically designed to leverage user-generated content and the entrant’s own followings on social media to spread awareness of and participation in the competition by calling for votes from the public; the entries with the most votes made the top 20. This allowed us to use our marketing budget most effectively. Announcing a top 20 allowed us enough time to flit around the country filming the top 3 so we could use video content for the final winner reveal. This was achieved in rapid time to ensure we could keep up the pace of the campaign and keep people engaged. And we got some exciting footage that let us really lean into what the car scene wanted to see like all the sick mods and features.

Mobil Mean Machine competition logo

entries received


combined paid advertising reach


landing page visitors


voting rate


referral traffic from organic shares


estimated additional media value generated form 'viral effect'


minutes of video content viewed


To generate entries (as well as a smaller follow-up campaign announcing winners), we used a multi-channel, online and offline approach. As well as using programmatic and social for scale and targeting, we made sure we were also present in contextual channels for relevance, leveraging the communities and tribes found on the likes of TradeMe and car-based online forums and readers of publications such as NZ Performance Car, NZV8 and Classic Car.

Various Mobil Mean Machine social posts
Mobil Mean Machine website visual

One of the entrants into the Mobil Mean Machine competition

Greg Murphy with Mobil Mean Machine 3rd place winner

Greg Murphy with Mobil Mean Machine 2nd place winner

Car entry that finished 2nd in the Mobil Mean Machine competition

Entry that took out 1st place in the Mobil Mean Machine competition
Greg Murphy with the Mobil Mean Machine competition winner
Visual of social media posts for the Mobil Mean Machine competition

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