Comic book superhero Spider-Man and a U.S. Navy pilot are used as part of a new approach for Castrol's Syntec motor oil in two TV spots close to completion by Hampel/Stefanides.
One spot uses classic Spider-Man animation, in which the webslinger overpowers The Punisher. The other features footage of a Navy pilot shooting down two enemy planes.
Although the setups differ, the payoff is the same. The end of each spot is framed by the retreating mouth of a Castrol bottle, suggesting the action took place inside.
With the full bottle in view, a voiceover says, "Castrol Syntec's patented stabilizers seek out and neutralize harmful particles, protecting in ways other oils can't." The tagline: "Castrol Syntec: the active lubricant."
Castrol North America of Wayne, N.J., is expected to give its final approval to the ads as early as this week. The 30-second spots would then break this month, sources said.
Castrol expects to spend about $11 million on the initial phase of the campaign. More spots are planned later in the year, said Andrew Swank, agency senior vice president and group account director.
Previous Syntec ads used a comparison test of two engines in a laboratory. They used the tag, "Protects in ways other oils can't."
Castrol trails Pennzoil in synthetic motor oil sales, according to Information Resources. Havoline is the third most popular brand.
Hampel/Stefanides here has handled Castrol since 1993.