Roadlife was the result of how creativity and marketing partnerships collide. That is what happened when we paused long enough in the midst of a major truck launch to realize we had a perfect storm brewing to utilize our marketing partnerships and create our first long-form content series. At Mack, we typically do not do many marketing partnerships. It just so happened that coming off of the Mack Anthem launch we found ourselves in the midst of some really cool opportunities.
We had been the Official Hauler of NASCAR since 2017 as we geared up for the Mack Anthem launch which happened in September 2017. That relationship led us to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports and Bubba Wallace. We also had time remaining with our Khalil Mack partnership. For years we had the desire to tell the amazing story of the Department of Sanitation New York (DSNY) and how they use Mack LRs to not only remove trash in the city but also snow. An opportunity that was seemingly becoming a possibility as a snowstorm was threatening the city.
For the Anthem launch, we had Steve Moakler write a song for us around our tagline, Born Ready. This song inspired Steve to write an entire album which he went on to title Born Ready and launched a tour… the Born Ready Tour powered by Mack Trucks.
As more and more stories started to surface we decided to lock ourselves in an offsite brainstorming session for a couple of days and not come out until we flushed out a solid content plan capitalizing on these relationships and then some.
As I have written prior, one key benefit of creating your own content in-house and not hiring it all out to an agency is that doing so brings you closer to your own community, your own products, and mainly your own customers. It enables the brand to build true relationships and what was about to transpire from Roadlife solidified that one hundred percent! There are true connections to a brand that can not be bought… this is how those connections are created.
From this Roadlife was born. Roadlife would become an eight-episode series plus a reunion episode that is approximately twenty minutes in length and told subtle stories of life on the road with the who, how, and why of what it takes to perform some extraordinary jobs.
Roadlife Official Trailer
Here is how the episodes would play out. We planned each one around weather, NASCAR events, customer availability, and certainly around the events driving the stories we sought to tell. After we identified each story that would become an episode of Roadlife we wrote the storyboards for each and began scheduling production. We hired a local three-man team to support us on camera and audio. However, Mark Urmos would be producing and editing each episode in-house.
We then hit the road traveling over 32,325 miles across 32 cities in 136 days capturing each of these extraordinary stories.
- The City that Never Sleeps – Five boroughs in five days as we chase a major snowstorm unfolding in New York City
- Built on Family – Khalil Mack and his father Sandy meet a fourth-generation Mack employed family
- New Blood – Bubba Wallace and Richard Petty get to know the NASCAR hauler drivers who deliver the race week after week
- Breaking the Mold – Meet two women who are breaking the mold in a male-dominated trucking industry
- Ryan’s Route – Ryan Hickman is saving the planet one plastic bottle at a time
- Long Way from Home – Two long haul drivers criss-cross Canada miles away from home
- Roadie Ready – Zack Brown Band and ZB Customs customize a Mack Anthem getting ready for their summer tour season
- Born Ready – Behind the scenes with country music star Steve Moakler on his Born Ready Tour
- Reunion – Behind the Scenes
As we hit the road one of the main goals was to begin building recognition and equity around the #Roadlife hashtag. From our initial research, we knew there were some posts using the hashtag but mostly around RV’ing and camping. Each of us (all 5) that makes up the Mack marketing team jumped to our own personal social media to post a behind-the-scenes look as we hit road filming #Roadlife.
We uploaded each of these episodes to Amazon Prime. We chose Amazon Prime because for one it is free to upload your own content. Secondly, the strategy behind the Roadlife series was to create a long-form documentary that people would learn the behind-the-scenes of the customer or find interest in the storyline. These were not to be a commercial for Mack, but yet in a subtle way viewers would connect the product and the application to their own business situations.
Roadlife was more than just storytelling. As we released each episode on MackTrucks.com we created a downloadable spec sheet of trucks that were shown in each episode. This download put potential customers into our marketing automation funnel which was built in Oracle Eloqua where we would further nurture them with a series of content around the product as well as the services offered by Mack Trucks.
We would nurture prospects with various additional calls to action at which the end result would send the prospect to their local dealer as a marketing qualified lead or (MQL).
Over the course of Season 1 of Roadlife we generated 3,687 leads. These came in as either signup for additional episodes and information or direct product content downloads. Additionally, the amount of social media activity and recognition from marketing publications like AdWeek and trucking publications was excellent. We went on to make it as an Oracle Modern Marketing Markie Award finalist as a result of the Roadlife campaign.