The Caltex White Rabbit Returns
In 1974, the White Rabbit was introduced as the mascot for Caltex’s clean restroom programme. He soon became a South African institution in his own right, adored by children and adults alike. However, the White Rabbit fell away during the mid ‘90s. In an effort to bring the Caltex brand to the fore in customers’ hearts and minds, the White Rabbit was reintroduced as Caltex’s mascot during the brand’s Easter promotion in 2011, which also served to launch Caltex South Africa’s Facebook page. Customers had to collect 3 stickers from Caltex service stations when filling up. The stickers could then be exchanged for a White Rabbit soft toy. The competition leg of the promotion required customers to post pictures on Facebook featuring the soft toy on holiday with them. The public’s response was phenomenal. Service stations could hardly keep up with the demand for White Rabbits, and the Caltex SA Facebook page was flooded with requests for more of the coveted soft toys. Building on the success of last year’s promotion, the 2012 Easter promotion also focused on the White Rabbit.
This year, customers could collect one of three White Rabbit Masks when visiting a Caltex service station. In order to enter the competition and stand a chance to win a share of R250,000.00, customers were asked to upload funny and interesting pictures of themselves or their families wearing the masks. Until midnight on the 7th of May, Facebook users can vote for their favourite pictures. The 30 entries with the most votes will be entered for the final judging, which will take place on the Expresso Show on SABC 3, on the 18th of May.
This year the public’s response surpassed our wildest dreams. When the Easter promotion launched, the Caltex SA Facebook page had around 3200 fans. Now, just more than a month later, our fan base stands at 9,240; and it is literally growing by the minute. We’ve also received over a thousand qualifying entries. Competition has been tough as entrants encourage friends and family to vote for them in the run up to the close of voting. And, judging by the comments on Facebook, excitement is running high.
Why has the reintroduction of the White Rabbit been so successful?
TNS research indicated that South Africans recall the White Rabbit fondly, and they want their children to know him as well. He has nostalgic value. Following Caltex’s Collect a Sticker summer promotion in 2011, one of our customers wrote “The stickers are special to us as this is a reminder of the collection which we used to have when we were young” and “My son is in seventh heaven. Thank you very, very much….The rabbit has been around since my youth, and now my son can also enjoy it”. The current incarnation of the White Rabbit has benefited immensely from social networking, which gave him a voice. He is a very lively character on the Caltex SA Facebook page, where he interacts with his manifold devoted fans. Furthermore, since December 2011, he has been visiting Caltex service stations across the country, bringing him to life for today’s children. His popularity is evidenced by the number of requests for return visits and appearances at children’s birthday parties. In short, the Caltex White Rabbit is fun and lively, and he is back to stay.