Campaign Spotlight

Phoenix Petroleum reignites lubricant category with hot new campaign from Havas Creative

MANILA — “The last thing we need is to do the same thing that the lubricant category has been doing for years.”

That was the challenge posed to the Havas Creative Team by Phoenix Petroleum AVP for Brand and Marketing, Celina Matias, when she briefed the team for the launch of the Phoenix Cyclomax motorcycle oils.

“We’ve been around for a while but we have relatively low awareness and no distinct image. We thought this was the best opportunity to revitalize the image of the brand and attract a younger market,” she continued. “More than being fresh and interesting, we wanted to be loud. Make us uncomfortable. That’s how we’ll know we’re on the right track.”


Uncomfortable, for the Havas Creative Team, meant doing away with the same tried and old formulas of images of motorcycle riders in racing outfits on big bikes punctuated with product dramatizations. It also meant taking a closer look at what makes a motorcycle rider unique.

According to Lawin Bulatao, Havas Creative Executive Creative Director, “Once we got all the bad and old ideas out of the way, there was room for newer stuff to creep in. We latched onto the insight that motorcycle riders are adventurers at heart. They want to be ready to go at any time. They’ve got this escapism that makes them choose bikes over cars.”

But it had to be the sort of escape that was true for the audience. “What is important for them is that their trips are not postponed. That whatever happens, their trips push through,” says copywriter Gelo Reyes. “From there, we thought of the Filipino saying ‘Walang basagan ng trip’ [don’t stop the trip], and it stuck,” adds Senior Art Director Aries Cayabyab.

“Walang Basagan ng Trip” proved to be both the muse and the fuse for the campaign. Not only was it a lateral dramatization of what the product actually does, it also resonated with the motivations of the intended audience.

The result ‒ a piece of film that got airplay both on TV and on the internet featuring a guy whose every whim (or every “trip”, no matter how crazy) is made possible by the use of Phoenix Cyclomax. Dramatized and brought to life by the ABRACADABRA directing duo of Mike Talampas and Nick Santiago and produced by Noel Enriquez, the spot utilized Japanese manga inspirations interwoven with crazy Filipino antics. “We still can’t believe how the guys at Havas Creative got to sell this storyboard to client, but we’re happy they did!” exclaimed Talampas and Santiago.

“The team’s gamble seems to have worked. Since the launch, not only has the spot raced to over 300,000 views with only minimal boosting, it has also generated engagement from biker and motorcycle drivers, the audience we were aiming at in the first place,” says Havas Creative Account Director Love Rosas.

“It’s not every day a client trusts you to create the uncomfortable. We had to make sure we don’t disappoint them,” said Bulatao.

The Havas Creative team is currently planning the succeeding legs of Phoenix Petroleum’s Lubricants campaign. If they will be anything like this start, they will be surely worth watching out for. To view the video, simply like the Phoenix Petroleum Facebook page.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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