Creative in association withGear Seven

Consumers Sing for Savings in New Pump & Pantry Campaign

New York, USA
TV spots from Slugger Creative boost sales, continue a total brand revamp and longstanding personal client-agency partnership

To encourage signups for its new loyalty program, Pumped Up Rewards, Midwest gas and convenience chain Pump & Pantry is taking to TV with customers singing 'pump up my day' to save cash at the pump and in store. The campaign from Slugger Creative has already generated thousands of signups and boosted sales by more than 10% over last year’s pre-pandemic numbers, when the chain’s customers were still driving to work every day.

In the new 30-second TV spot, different types of customers sing the hook from the company’s Jingle: 'pump up my day' at the pump. A 20-something man softly sings it, then a 30-something woman belts out a soulful rendition. An Elvis impersonator follows in classic Nashville style. Then a hockey mom grimaces, 'do I have to?' and the payoff comes: You don’t have to sing into the pump, just sign up and you’ll get the savings automatically.

“Our program is about savings, and our brand always tries to have fun, with a slightly campy, slightly sarcastic tone. The jingle’s been out there for a year, so this was a way to leverage that equity in a fun, simple way,” said Brandon Beck, senior director of marketing at Bosselman Enterprises, parent of Pump & Pantry. “We explain all the particulars in other marketing materials, from the store to email and social media.” “I think the program helps our customers save at a time when the economy is anything but stable. And yet, because we’re having fun with it, they can join in without us getting too heavy.”

The commercial runs on local TV, while characters from the spot appear in promotional banners inside the stores. 

“There are lots of serious messages out there in this late-pandemic world,” said Andrew Ladden, CEO of Slugger Creative. “We want to be real with our customers, like our Mom at the end of the spot, but we can do that with a laugh.”

Slugger plans to build on the campaign over the spring and summer to celebrate P&P’s 50th Anniversary. “The setup is made for social media and the selfie generation,” said Ladden. “This makes it fun to be a P&P customer. And it can lead to people posting videos and ultimately auditioning to be in the next iterations of the campaign.”

'Pump up my day' is the latest move in a complete revamp of the Pump and Pantry brand that Beck and Ladden launched in 2019. It’s also a new chapter in a longstanding partnership between the two. The pair had rebranded the outdoor company Cabela’s a decade ago, when Beck led Cabela’s brand marketing and Ladden was an Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy. When Beck arrived at Bosselman in 2018, he called on Ladden, then CCO at Madras, for a radio jingle promoting Pump & Pantry. The theme, “pump up your day at Pump & Pantry,” fit the drive-to-work commuters who are central to the chain’s business.

Then Beck and Ladden revamped the chain’s overall look and feel in 2019, changing Pump & Pantry’s palette from a traditional look developed in the 80s to a vibrant blue and yellow that Ladden calls “a modern, tongue-in-cheek take on the old Fifties service center, where a guy in a white suit would run out and take care of the car.” Pump signage tags “p&p” in bright yellow letters. Store signage marks categories with clever one-liners like “it's wine o'clock someplace" and "free beer tomorrow." Restrooms are designated by giant cartoon faces in the Fifties style. And “pump up your day” dons everything from coffee cups to t-shirts.

The chain-wide revamp boosted sales in some locations by more than 50%, and the new rewards campaign is adding meaningfully to the chain’s momentum. “The more we liven up our marketing, the more we see results,” said Beck.

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