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    BP Powers Up New Marketing Campaign

    ''Helios Power'' campaign will aim to make gas station experience better.

    NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- ''Helios Power'' is the name of BP's new marketing campaign, which is going back to its roots to make drivers' experience of their gas stations ''a little better,'' the company stated.

    '''Helios Power' is a renewed commitment to making things 'a little better' for our customers," Linda Bartman, BP's marketing communications manager, said in a written statement. "We are re-emphasizing the basics like clean facilities, friendly service and people who will go the extra mile for consumers."

    The campaign will cost the company $36 million for national print, TV and radio spots that launched yesterday. The campaign also features special online promotions and giveaways.

    "We want our customers to have a consistent and positive site experience," Bartman said. "Our customers tell us that anything we can do that makes things 'a little better' means a lot to them."

    In place of actors, BP's TV spots will feature animated characters, each with a name and unique personality. Among the cast are Beeps, magical workers who can make things cleaner and more fun, along with Burt and the Lighthouse Family, customers whose day was made ''a little better'' by BP, the company stated.

    The campaign began development in early 2006 and underwent tests in select markets during fall 2006. The ''Helios Power'' campaign targets 22- to 44-year-olds, married or single, with 60 percent having at least one child living at home. The goal is to create an emotional connection between the company and its customers by showcasing concepts such as ''bold,'' ''green'' and ''real,'' according to the company. Bold comes from the creative aspect of the campaign, green because the campaign will offer customers tips to be more environmentally friendly and real because customers can get the experience at BP gas stations.

    "With the 'Helios Power' campaign, we hope to further connect with consumers and encourage them to turn into a BP retail site, where we're trying to make things 'a little better,'" Bartman said.

    To support the campaign, BP stations will feature ''Helios Power'' point-of-purchase materials in addition to in-store giveaways with purchases such as:

    -- In April, packets of sunflower seeds bearing the message, "Plant a sunflower and make the world a little brighter,"
    -- In May, trading cards featuring the BP characters and a trading card wallet as giveaways, and
    -- In June, children's travel activity books, again featuring the characters.

    Also, interactive media supporting the campaign -- including downloadable ring tones, ''webisodes,'' e-greetings, a Gas Mania video game and sweepstakes, screen savers and computer wallpapers -- can be found at www.alittlebettergasstation.com.

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