Marathon “America’s Co-Pilot"

Celebrating co-pilots through shared brand values.

The fuel category is not known for big brand refreshes and isn’t a vertical people really think about until the moment strikes when they need a fill-up. In this moment, folks will often stop at the nearest gas station out of convenience, but how could you get them to drive the extra mile and have your brand top of mind when the fill-up decision strikes? You connect with something more valuable than a few extra cents off — their values.  

People’s values are very dear to them, and they will go to great lengths to ensure that their thoughts and behaviors align with their feelings and values. The cognitive dissonance of a mismatch between action and values is pretty uncomfortable for most people! But when a person resonates with a message (or a brand choice) on a values level, they feel seen, empowered, and connected.

Marathon has always embodied an Americana spirit that its customers could relate to, but it was time to contemporize it and broaden its appeal into new markets across the country. So, RPA and Marathon championed co-pilots. The “America’s Co-Pilot" campaign celebrates those who make the drive worthwhile and reminds people that Marathon has and will continue to be there to drive them forward in all of their life’s pursuits — like any great co-pilot. We’re encouraging everyone to move forward in life and know that Marathon will be there every step of the way to help fuel their drive.  

Part of understanding our audience’s values is understanding their interests. That’s perhaps best illustrated with the passion Marathon’s customers have for college football. Marathon was already a Big Ten sponsor, but this campaign expands to reach their audience in several high-profile, targeted match-ups across multiple conferences that align with their marketing footprint. These efforts are supplemented by investment in other media environments that reflect their passions and allow for staying top of mind across channels they use regularly (e.g., streaming video and audio). Reaching our audience where they are and talking to them about who they are shows our customers that they and Marathon are truly Driven Together.

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