Case Study | Interstate Batteries

Driving sales in a
low-engagement category.

Nobody thinks about their car battery—until it dies. In fact, these days many people can’t even tell you where the battery is located in their vehicle. All folks want to know is that when they get in their car and turn the key it will start and get them where they need to be. However, when we first accepted this challenge over a decade ago, both the company and the category were spending millions of marketing dollars touting functional attributes like power, cold-cranking amps and toughness.

In short, we saw an opportunity to buck the category convention and speak to people about the one thing they care about when it comes to their car battery: That it’ll get them where they want to go.

“Outrageous Dependability”

This new positioning, tagline and corporate commitment to being as dependable as humanly possible was the first step. Now we needed to let our audience know. This is where we saw other opportunities to break unwritten rules of the category. One was to simply have some fun. Humor is a great and easy way to engage an audience, and it was something the industry lacked. Another rule we skirted was to focus on relatable people and stories instead of the boring box under the hood. Everyone gets what a battery looks like and what it’s supposed to do. We didn’t need to waste time or money telling people what they already know. So instead we focused on furthering the narrative up and down the entire media and purchase funnel.

Our most recent campaign iteration of “Outrageous Dependability” highlighted how purchasing a cheaper, less dependable battery could end up costing you more than you realize.

Lottery Pool

:30 TV

In a year that saw the biggest Lottery jackpots in history, this spot resonated in offices across the country.

Scary Movie

:60 TV

Airing in theaters during the blockbuster season between Halloween and Christmas, it’s a cautionary tale hopefully no one relates to.


:30 TV

As spring approached, our thoughts turned to the joy, and pain, of finding “the one.”


The stars of our spots showed up in Facebook feeds to help tell the rest of their story.

Lottery Pool

:45 Social


:30 Social

Scary Movie

:50 Social

Mobile First

Media placements don’t get much more perfect than this. The following pre-roll ads only ran on phones whose battery life was 20% or lower.

Mobile First

Birthday Dog

:30 Social

Our approach, and the results, are hard to ignore.

Speak to people the right way, at the right time and they’ll be happy to engage with you no matter what you’re trying to sell. And clearly, this includes car batteries.

Big Picture:

  • — Research shows that Interstate Batteries now owns “dependability” in the minds of consumers
  • — Grew brand equity +16 among key audiences
  • — Set company sales records in 9 of the last 12 years the campaign has been running

Current Campaign:

  • — More than 273 million impressions (15% over-delivery)
  • — Content views had an overall completion rate of 74% (21% over industry average)
  • — Paid search converted at 3x the closest competitor
  • — Over 400,000 dealer locator look-ups (12% growth YOY)

  • 273mm

    273 million impressions

  • 74%

    Overall completion rate

  • 3x

    Paid search converted at 3x the closest competitor