Twin Cities drivers take notice of 88 Octane at the pump

Drivers who have been making their way through the Twin Cities this fall and early winter are noticing a cheaper fuel that offers better engine performance called 88 Octane. Better known as E15, the fuel isn’t actually new, however. What is new is the approach taken by the American Lung Association in Minnesota (ALAM) to market it.

ALAM has been a longtime partner of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association in its efforts to market the cleaner burning fuel’s air quality benefits, while saving drivers money at the pump. The 88 Octane campaign, which launched earlier this fall, is raising awareness of E15’s higher octane rating while costing less.

ALAM Clean Air Director Jon Hunter said fuels with mid-level ethanol blends often have different names dependent on the gas station. What is consistent is the bright yellow octane sticker on the nozzle of each fuel variety. With E15 having a higher octane rating than standard E10, this campaign will make the higher blend more recognizable while calling out its performance benefits.

“The overall message is that it is at a lower price while being a better option for drivers,” Hunter said.

Hunter said they wanted to avoid a special name for the fuel, instead identifying it using the same octane rating used by all varieties offered at the pump.

“We want people to recognize it as another gas option, so we want to treat it as a gasoline, not something different,” Hunter said.

ALAM is taking a diverse approach to where the ads will run, including hit radio stations, streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify and billboards. Through Dec. 17, users of the popular app Gas Buddy, which shows drivers fuel prices of all nearby gas stations, will see ads for Octane 88 and its lower price. All media will be targeted to the Twin Cities area where the highest concentration of drivers exist.

After the campaign ends in mid-December, Hunter said there will be a period of analyzing its success. If the numbers show more users opted for the 88 Octane sticker at the pump, they hope to again run the campaign next year.



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