JWT Atlanta Launches ‘Airlift Drift’ for Pennzoil

By Erik Oster 

JWT Atlanta worked with stunt driver Rhys Millen on a new spot for Pennzoil entitled “Airlift Drift.”

The 90-second spot sees Millen cruising around Cape Town, South Africa in the 707 horsepower Dodge Hellcat Challenger before being lifted on a platform by helicopters while drifting. That last bit, of course, is accomplished with the aid of special effects, but Jeremy Jones, executive creative director at JWT Atlanta, told Adweek, “Everything from the get-go was rooted in the idea of realism,” adding, “The load capacity of the helicopters, the chains, the shape of the platform and support beams. It’s all mathematically and theoretically possible.”

“Airlift Drift” promotes Pennzoil’s natural gas motor oil, which promises “Next Level Performance.” JWT Atlanta introduced the product last May with an ad called “Complete Protection” which they billed as a “first-of-its-kind TV commercial shot on gaseous vapor clouds.” For “Airlift Drift” JWT Atlanta worked with director Ozan Biron, who directed “Ultimate Racetrack” for BMW last year.

“We learned he was the magician behind ‘Ultimate Racetrack,’ and we had to have him,” Jones told Adweek. “He’s a complete car guy, and pushes the driving to crazy levels. It’s so raw and uncommercial.”


Client: Pennzoil

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
Perry Fair: Chief Creative Officer
Jeremy Jones: Executive Creative Director
Dustin Tamilio: Group Creative Director
John Huddleston: Copywriter
Erin Fillingam: Art Director
Daryll Merchant: Producer
Erin McGivney: Account Director
James Robbins: Senior Planner

Production Company: The Embassy, Vancouver
Director: Ozan Biron
Executive Producer: Trevor Cawood
Editor: Ozan Biron
Assistant Editor / Conformist: Brendan Woollard  (Cycle Media)
Director of Photography: Manoel Ferreira

Visual Effects: Imagine Engine
Visual FX Supervisor – Bernhard Kimbacher
Onset Supervisor  – Neil Impey

Precision Driver: Rhys Millen

Content Production Company: Lemonade Films
Executive Producer: Ted Herman
Production Supervisor: Philip Fyfe

South African Service Company: Uncle Morris Films
Line Producer – Steven St Arnaud
Production Manager – Herman Warnich
Prod Coordinator – Andrea Scott

Colorist: Dave Hussey, Company 3

Sound Design: Charles Deenen, Source Sound LA