Castrol’s Syntec Shows What Dreams Are Made Of

NEW YORK In one of Castrol’s two new ads for its Syntec motor oil, created by WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and unveiled today, two racecar drivers are preparing to face off against each other. It seems like a bitter contest as the drivers trade dirty looks and mouth the words “Loser” and “You’re going down” at each other while a woman in black with long, flowing hair prepares to raise the flag, signaling the start of the race.

Just as the woman waves the flag in the 30-second spot, a quick edit shifts the scene to an all-white laboratory as a man with a clipboard raps his pen on the driver’s side window. “Bob,” he says, startling the sleeping test driver. “What are the readings on that other car?”

The bewildered tester, in a white car running on a treadmill, glances over at the woman in the dream—who has her long hair tied back and is casting a disdainful glare in his direction—and then looks to his right at the other white car that is overheating.

The camera pulls back and a voiceover indicates that the dreamer was lulled to slumber by the relaxing ride provided by Castrol’s Syntec. The mock-serious voiceover intones, “A recent test put cars through a punishing comparison involving extreme heat and stress beyond anything that a car would ever face.” The lab then descends into chaos, as the car that used “conventional SW-30 motor oil” seems on the verge of exploding.

The ad ends with the tagline, “Castrol’s Syntec. Everything else is just motor oil.”

A second 15-second spot skips the dream and goes straight to the chaotic lab.

This was Castrol’s first TV campaign for Syntec since 1992, a Castrol representative said. Bruce Lee was creative director on both spots by the New York shop.

Taking the dream theme into reality, the Chicago office of OgilvyOne, the agency’s public relations arm, is also unveiling a promotion for the brand next week. On Wednesday, anyone riding in a New York taxi will have a chance to find the Castrol Syntec Key, which enters the bearer into a drawing for $27,000. The driver of the cab in which the key chain is found will receive an $8,000 tip. Passengers should look for the key in the seat cushions or under the floor mats.