Pennzoil Print Hits the Pro Racing Circuits

GSD&M’s New Ads Make Stars of the Client’s 14-Man Pit Crew
DALLAS-Applauding the unheralded pit crews that make victory laps possible, Pennzoil Motor Oil has launched a new print campaign via GSD&M that celebrates their contributions to the sport of auto racing.
Still working under the “Stop. Go. Pennzoil” tagline developed by the Austin, Texas, agency, the new ads showcase a Pennzoil-sponsored pit crew in three separate executions currently placed in programs and guides at Nascar, Indy Racing League and drag events.
According to GSD&M vice president and account supervisor Keith Guyett, this is the first advertising Pennzoil has used to link its brand with racing.
“Obviously, Pennzoil has been a big part of racing [throughout] its entire heritage,” said Guyett. “But instead of talking about winning and how cool our drivers are, we’re showing that [key] decisions are made in the pit.”
In one ad, a blurred, grainy image (tinted in Pennzoil’s signature yellow) of a pit crew carries the headline, “Just 14 guys working furiously to remain anonymous.” Another print piece is headlined, “Countless hours to get the car ready. 4.5 seconds to see if it is.”
The body text reads: “Guys on the Pennzoil pit crew aren’t asked to sign many autographs and their faces don’t adorn cereal boxes. Yet without their expertise, racing wouldn’t be the most exciting team sport in the world.”
Pennzoil, which spent $20 million in paid media last year, is leveraging this print advertising campaign primarily through its sponsorship of racing events, according to Guyett.
The ads are still intended to appeal to the home do-it-yourselfer, said Guyett. “Ultimately, we want it to go through their mind that if Pennzoil is good enough to withstand a drag race,” it will stand up to everyday driving as well, he said.
The Houston-based client and GSD&M are planning a summer launch for a new television campaign, according to Guyett.