Building a Business — and Quality Perceptions — Via a Breakthrough Icon


For many, low price implies low quality.

Due to a historical lack of investment in brand-building, ARCO was known for its low prices — but very little else.

Without a brand to engage with, people looked at the prices and figured the gas must be low-quality. In fact, in 2014 the company had a negative net promoter score — meaning, a customer was more likely to tell a friend not to go to ARCO. A negative brand perception like that can prove especially hard to move in a low-involvement category like fuel.


Folks love the feeling of a legitimately great deal.

People are smart. They appreciate low prices when those prices are delivered in the framework of a brand that promises high quality.

We needed people to understand that the price on the pump wasn’t a reflection of a poor-quality brand, but of a brand focused on providing value and putting their customers first. And we needed to get people to notice and believe our messages for this strategy to be successful.


Don’t just say it, prove it.

We focused our message on validating the quality of ARCO gas by driving awareness of their new TOP TIER™ gas designation.

In addition, we introduced our very own “car expert” to deliver our quality messaging: Hanna, the Dashboard Hula Girl, who lives and breathes car life. (As much as any dashboard doll can live and breathe.)

Over the years, we’ve communicated a variety of benefits that back up our quality story — all delivered via Hanna’s upbeat, engaging, in-the-know personality. And we wrapped everything up with a tag line that couldn’t be more direct: “Quality TOP TIER™ Gas for Less.”

To further reinforce this quality message, we developed a strong premium visual identity, as well. The radiant, blue, LED-powered ARCO stations became our very own OOH placements.


Top-tier results to go with our TOP TIER™ gas.