Why we won: Shell – Loyalty Magazine 2016 winners tell their stories


Pump Challenge – Make filling up fun

Winner of Best Use of Communications.

Why we won: The Challenge shook up an existing scheme by gamifying the mundane process of filling up to increase customer expenditure.

shell-2-copyWhen refuelling a car at Shell stations, it’s one
of those bizarre quirks of human
nature that 37% of customers still like
to fill up to the round pound, even if they are paying by card. Shell gamified the usually mundane process of filling up by rewarding customers who did so ‘bang on the money’ even if they had to increase their total, which helped to stretch customer spend by 17% compared to existing loyalty communications.

The Shell Pump Challenge used data from its Drivers’ Club to encourage customers to go to a higher fill level if they missed their chosen exact amount – and made it fun. Target price points were set at multiples of five (above each customer’s individual average fill level), and if they missed £30 (50 Bonus Points) they had to hit £35 to earn an extra reward, all the way up to £100.00 (500 Bonus Points) for those prepared to try and fill up to the brim.   Shell says this communicates that it has a sense of humour, that it is human, and that it is generous and ‘big’ enough to join in that game.


To build anticipation about the game before customers set foot on the forecourt, the experience was simulated in the digital space. Shell Drivers Club members were invited by email to test their skills and reaction playing an interactive ‘Pump Challenge’ game hosted on Shell.co.uk.

The response to the email campaign was startling. From 1.27 million emails sent to Drivers Club members, 60,000 tested their skills on the interactive game pre-forecourt, with an average dwell time of over 2 minutes. A further 478,000 customers then went on to take the ‘The Pump Challenge’ for real at their local Shell station.

The ‘risk and reward’ element of the game disrupted normal customer fill behaviour, increasing purchases by 9% whilst also driving brand loyalty with repeat visits. As one customer commented: “The person who devised this should be congratulated for appealing to the inner child in all of us.” Shell worked with co-ordinating agency Wunderman UK on this initiative.