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Pennzoil Drops The Branding In This High-Octane Short Starring A Very Yellow Ferrari

The next time you see a Fast and Furious movie, Pennzoil wants you to think about the motor oil the car is running on.

Pennzoil Drops The Branding In This High-Octane Short Starring A Very Yellow Ferrari

Stunt driving is super fun to watch. Seven Fast & Furious films–plus three more to come–have made that much clear. But one thing nobody ever gives much thought to is what kind of motor oil the cars doing those incredible stunts are running on.

There’s a reason for that: Motor oil is a super boring thing to think about. Which is why in the new spot for Pennzoil from J. Walter Thompson Atlanta opts to keep the branding in the two-minute short film–which features a bright yellow Ferrari being driven throughout the streets of Barcelona in ways that seem downright stunt-tastic–to an absolute minimum. There’s a quick Pennzoil logo on a clipboard or on a coffee cup, but beyond that, the video is intended to get you thinking “Man, that’s some incredible driving” instead of “Man, I wonder what kind of motor oil that thing has in it?”

“People really thank us for not interrupting their experience with brand messaging, or things that they’re not really interested in,” executive creator director Jeremy Jones of J. Walter Thompson Atlanta explains–a lesson they learned last year on a video called “Airlift Drift.” “So the way that we go about this, we give them the experience that they’re looking for to start their dialogue. If they’re receptive to this, then we have permission to talk to them about motor oil, which isn’t sexy. Plus the car is yellow, which we kind of own.”

The spot that released today, “JOYRIDE Circuit,” is the first of three–all of which have the vague plot of a person finding a key to a Pennzoil test car, and sneaking off to drive it like a maniac in the night. The other two will feature different cities and different cars–but will still focus on driving stunts over motor oil branding.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.