‘Creating only two 30-second ads a year will put your brand at risk’ says Castrol

Being the brand behind synthetic motor oils might not sound like the most glamorous thing in the world but thanks to its digital-first approach and deep video strategy, Castrol has received plenty of cut through over recent years.

The brand’s Titanium Trials advertising films, which show super car drivers completing challenges, have racked up impressive hits. Its most successful – the Virtual Races trial film – has seen 131 million views across all channels and earned $10.5m in earned coverage media value, according to the brand.

Its World Cup 2014 Footkhana ad featuring Brazil footballer Neymar doing tricks with a football alongside rally driver Ken Block, meanwhile, was also a bold move away from motor sports. And it was a move that appeared to pay off, with Castrol closely competing with sports giant Nike for World Cup ad views in YouTube’s top 10 ads for April 2014, and securing more than 22 million views. Not bad for a car oil brand.

Having widened its association from purely motor sports and adopted a digital first approach to marketing, Castrol says brands can no longer afford to adopt a conventional approach to video advertising.

BP Castrol’s global director for passenger car oils Vivek Rampal told Marketing Week: “Making Castrol Edge our flagship brand has been a rebirth for us and our approach is about when man is in sync with machine. We’ve realised that doesn’t have to be confined to motorsports.

“We want to be where our audience is so we’ve built our entire media model around social influencers for when we create advertising. We largely avoid traditional media as we’re trying to break category norms in content creation.”

Rampal, who has held senior marketing roles at the likes of Unilever and Diageo, believes many brands are struggling to get to grips with digital marketing. But he encourages CMOs to take a risk.

“I spent most of my life at Unilever and Diageo, but when I meet those guys they are struggling to get to grips with things like programmatic and social. Many want to go back to traditional and are not realising it’s okay to make mistakes along the way,” he added.

Over the last decade, marketing has changed more than any global function, according to Rampal. And he says constant co-creation, which Castrol does by having regular planning meetings with its agencies, including Ogilvy and The Brooklyn Brothers, and a rolling video storytelling strategy should be a priority.

He concluded: “Marketing has changed more than any function over the last 10 years. Nowadays it is about constant content creation and a lot of video content is needed. Two 30-second videos a year just isn’t enough and will put your brand at risk, you need to be doing that all the time.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here