Taking ownership of a $20bn problem
  • Established a new ‘Operational Excellence Platform’ category
  • Repositioned Petrotechnics from Ops to C-suite
  • Achieved buy-in from analysts and staff
  • Rallied a traumatised industry
  • Winner of ‘Overall Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at the Computing Tech Marketing & Innovation Awards, 2017

The predicament

When 167 North Sea oil workers lost their lives on the Piper Alpha oil rig in 1988, Aberdeen-based Petrotechnics responded with a tech-enabled safety monitoring system that’s saved untold numbers of lives since then. But 25 years later, with new competition, falling margins and a shrinking customer base, Petrotechnics needed to change direction.

Their innovative leap was to realise that they could evolve their technology to monitor not just safety, but efficiency too. The result? Better productivity, maximum safety… and significantly lower costs.

The challenge? While the company had great relationships at the operational level, they now needed to get the strategic decision makers on board as well – C-level execs who’d never heard of Petrotechnics. Buy-in amongst Petrotechnics’ own staff was another significant issue: the change in direction had left their employees confused and demotivated.

The breakthrough

At the same time as Petrotechnics was being forced to self-disrupt, the entire oil industry was experiencing tumultuous change. A plummeting oil price had exposed operational inefficiency throughout the industry. The pressure was on to slash costs. But could it be done without compromising safety?

Industry analysts were suggesting that the time had come for a strict regime of ‘Operational Excellence’, which EY said could save the oil and gas industry around $20 billion over the next five years. It was time to reposition Petrotechnics to catch the wave. The first task was to pioneer a new category of “the Operational Excellence platform”. With the new strapline, “Excellence is now operational”, the new offering had instant appeal for analysts.

Next, the new brand needed an emotional heart. Visit an oil hub like Houston or Aberdeen and you’ll feel the trauma caused by thousands of lay-offs. Our creative strategy was to respond directly to that emotion. Headlines like “North Sea lifeline” and “Software for tough times” made the new Petrotechnics solution a rallying point for people at every level within the industry – including, very importantly, Petrotechnics’ own staff.

Contentwise? More passion. Backing up the billboards, press, digital and social ads was an authoritative white paper, ‘The Operational Excellence Index’. Petrotechnics CEO Phil Murray also fronted a series of hard-hitting videos, combining technical depth with an immense passion for the industry.



Just one week after launch, Petrotechnics was already talking with “five to six CEOs from some of the biggest companies”.

A ‘solution of choice’ appointment by Saudi Aramco followed, as did an alliance with Accenture.

The white paper received 4,100 views, and a 200% increase in MQLs also delivered penetration into the rail and LNG markets.

For staff, the programme “unified the whole organisation”. Our lead client called it “one of the best work experiences ever.”

And at the Computing Tech Marketing & Innovation Awards, Fox Parrack Singapour won the award for ‘Overall Marketing Campaign of the Year’.