Castrol Promo, Case study FIRST, FASTEST ENGINE FREE KICKER by Ogilvy & Mather Tokyo

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Industry Automotive products, services and accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Tokyo
Art Director Kaori Mochizuki
Copywriter Satoko Takada
Designer Atsushi Hashimoto
Producer Natsuko Shimizu
Released March 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: BP CASTROL
Product/Service: ENGINE OIL
Planner: Nobuhisa Ishizuka (Ogilvy&Mather Japan)
Producer: Natsuko Shimizu (Ogilvy&Mather Japan)
Art Director: Kaori Mochizuki (Ogilvy&Mather Japan)
Designer: Atsushi Hashimoto (Yama)
Flash Developer: Kazuki Nakata (Yama)
Programmer: Tadakazu Oda (FISH GROVE)
Sound Designer: Shojiro Nakaoka (Bitztream)
Copywriter: Satoko Takada (Ogilvy&Mather Japan)
Account Manager: Genjiro Wakayama (Ogilvy&Mather Japan)
Castrol Ichi-GO Creator and Constructor: Kogoro Kurata
Construction Project Manager: Yusuke Kitani (Kaibutsu)
Event Operation: Takako Narumi (Zeal Associate Corporation)
PR: Kentaro Tsubouchi (Sunny Side Up)
PR: Chika Tsukamoto (Sunny Side Up)
Online Promotion: Satoshi Shinjin (Catchball)
Media placement: Event - Yokohama Marinos Football Opening Game - 3/13/2010
Media placement: Event - Kanagawa Toyota Yokohama - 3/18/2010
Media placement: Event/TV Filming - S The Story (TV Program) - 4/1/2010
Media placement: Event - Kawasaki Frontale Football Game - 5/1/2010
Media placement: Event - Netz Yokohama Kohoku - 6/12/2010
Media placement: Event - YoYogi National Park - 6/19/2010

Summary of the Campaign
Castrol, the engine oil company, became the official global sponsor of the FIFA World Cup 2010 and we needed a measure to utilize this opportunity and raise brand awareness in Japan.
There was no media budget, and football popularity was stagnant, hence it was critical to develop an idea that takes advantage of football, which goes beyond usual advertising and engages as many people as possible.

We decided to develop a machine that releases the world’s fastest free-kick powered by engine.
We aimed to disseminate word-of-mouth by driving curiosity toward a robot, as robots were childhood dreams of the target businessmen (30’s - 40’s) when they were growing up.

We announced the development before the campaign launch and raised interest towards the nameless robot by sharing its production process real time. Doing so lead to appearances in events and media after its completion, which in total, helped us succeed in earning continuous exposure during the campaign without spending any event or media budget.

The Situation
Awareness toward Castrol’s engine oil in Japan is only 1/3 versus Europe, and sales were also stagnant.
When Castrol became official sponsor, we needed a measure to take advantage of this opportunity and raise brand awareness.

Japan Background
Football popularity in Japan was the lowest in the past 16 years, one of the reasons being the National Team’s poor performance. Moreover, there were so many football-related campaigns by other leading sponsors, so Castrol would in the clutter unless we had a big budget. A differentiating, unique idea relevant to soccer was critical.

The Goal
To raise brand awareness, Castrol, who never utilized mass media in Japan, requested earning mass media coverage as success criteria.

We targeted male automobile owners (30’s - 40’s).
Most of them leave maintenance up to their service stations and are not particular about engine oil. Clearly, the target grew watching animes and special effects films, and played with plastic models and radio-controlled gadgets.

Before the campaign, we conducted analysis on noteworthy items during the past year, and discovered that the target responds to activities that help grant their childhood dreams, i.e. large-sized robots, DYI events featuring electric technology.

The Strategy
Strategy was to develop a robot, create a PR hook and drive media coverage. Before launch, we shared its development online to drive enormous exposure with one event without spending any media money.

No matter how interesting a robot is, it’s meaningless if we don’t inform the media. Seven months before the campaign, we shared real-time development process on the web to engage killer content seekers.

We sent media releases at the start of development, when the kicking tests were successful and when the robot was completed. Inviting interested media to the completion event led to tremendous exposure and sustaining relationships which ended up in offers. Exposure invited more exposure.

We constantly gave the media interesting information to keep them fascinated, i,e. the monster kick, non-spinning shoot and long-kick competition vs. humans. At the last event, we even achieved a Guinness World Record, which drew more coverage.

Development Period (End of 2009)
As development commenced, we sent a press release, which the media inquired about right away.
We shared the usually undisclosed process on the web real-time, responded to media interviews and raised expectation.

Announcement (January 2010)
Two months before launch, we conducted an event to announce the completion, which was widely communicated to the media and fans.

Event/Media Appearance (March-July 2010)
The robot’s awareness boosted due to prior efforts.
By the time the campaign launched, we were swamped with guest appearance offers.
The robot appeared in pro-soccer games, demonstrated its performance at World Cup-related events and was displayed at an automobile showroom. A TV program featuring the robot was produced and exposure just went on. Right before World Cup opening, we challenged the Guinness World Record as “The Fastest Football Kick by a Machine.”
The 225 km/hr record was certified, proving its performance along with Castrol’s.

Documented Results
Media exposure in Japan:
Immediately after campaign launch, the robot was exposed everywhere, introduced in main TV programs, magazines and online media. As a result, media coverage in Japan during the campaign was worth US$5.5 million.

Tremendous online buzz
At its peak, "Castrol Ichi-Go" in Japanese exceeded 11 million search results on Google. Most of the contents featured favourable comments toward the Castrol brand and their attitude.

Contribution to sales:
The campaign effect not only boosted brand awareness, but impacted sales too.
During the campaign, the sales volume of the Castrol/Magnatec brand achieved +34% versus previous year.

Out into the world:
Word-of-mouth spread to 80 nations around the world where the robot was introduced in their main media and online media.