We've known since the '80s that the Ewing family is all about money, sex, really intense dreams and oil. But how would they fare in the real world?
That's what TNT and agency Grey NY are hoping to find out when they open a real-life Ewing Energies gas station to help promote the third season of the Dallas reboot series. While the exact location will be secret until February 24th, when the show premieres, the agency says the station will be exactly how the Ewings would work—including severely undercutting the local competition on price. The one-off effort will have radio promotions, billboards, wrapped oil tankers, and a special video message by John Ross Ewing (played Josh Henderson) on Facebook.
"When you think about Dallas, you think about the Ewings, a family who is arguably the most powerful family in fiction," says Grey NY executive creative director Lisa Topol. "And we thought, what better way to demonstrate that power than to literally blur the lines of fiction and have them break through into the real world? All in all, bringing Ewing Energies to life and making it a real-world player at the pump felt like the right move."
The idea harks back to 2007, when The Simpsons teamed with 7-11 in 2007 to open real-live Kwik-E-Marts. But the agency says this isn't a partnership with an existing oil brand, just with one independent owner/operator.
It's an idea built to take advantage of how experiential projects can take on another life of their own through social media. Just don't call it a stunt. "There are stunts, and then there are experiences," says Topol. "This isn’t just about filming something and making a video showing people responding in shock or surprise. This is about people really experiencing (and in this case benefiting from) the power of the Ewings."