Cannes Lions

Castrol Portraits of Change

VMLY&R COMMERCE, Dubai / BP / 2022

Case Film
Presentation Image
Supporting Images






Mechanics are key to help society move and the Castrol business grow. They keep our commutes safe, always come to the rescue whenever there is an emergency, and as far as business goes, they are the reliable source of knowledge that helps Castrol sell the right products to the customer’s real needs.

However, despite all that, they FEEL unappreciated and looked down upon. Their efforts go unnoticed by employers. Their humanity, hopes, and dreams – unseen by most.

Castrol believes that they deserve better, and this invisibility should be no more.

After all, these are the brand’s front-liners, the face and heart of Castrol.

So, Castrol needed to find a way to get mechanics, employers and the public to “see” and appreciate people who have long been ignored. And Portraits of Glory, proved that they’re more than just mechanics. They are everyday heroes and professionals who continuously make a difference.


Castrol wanted people to “see” and appreciate mechanics for who they truly are, while also acknowledging the partnership between the brand, mechanics, and workshops across the UAE.

To do so, Castrol created an “Employee of the Month” initiative unlike any other. A recognition that aimed at turning a small bureaucratic accolade that is easily overlooked into a celebration of a mechanic’s contribution to society and business.

The idea was simple yet powerful. Castrol placed high performance mechanics in the biggest stage around: The Dubai Frame. The brand honored them in style, commissioning well renowned artist/photographer, Marta Lamovsek to produce a photoshoot designed putting the spotlight on our mechanics.

Castrol took mechanics from being unseen, to being appreciated. An augmented reality experience was launched with media and social influencers, using an Instagram AR filter on our page to see the once empty Dubai Frame fill up for the first time ever!


Mechanics play a massive role in society as well as within Castrol’s business. However, they are often unseen and not as appreciated by the public, their employers or oil and automotive companies.

Mechanics are usually ostracized for their work and their impact in keeping our roads safe as they are seen as unqualified labor. Yet, mechanics are one of the most trusted sources of credibility for consumers when it comes to the auto-oil category and are key for Castrol’s commercial objectives.

“Portraits of Glory” got the public, workshop owners and even competitor brands to see mechanics for their efforts and celebrated them as the everyday heroes they are through the world’s biggest “Employee of the Month” experience.

The initiative targeted auto-oil/mechanic businesses as well as higher SEC people living in Dubai, (18-65+) who would either help elevate the social perception around mechanics or reward them in the way they deserved.


To build hype on January 12, 2022, we posted across social media platforms, an invite of the first ever Dubai Frame Photo exhibit, “The Portraits of Glory” .

On January 14, 2022, Castrol invited automotive and lifestyle influencers to attend an exclusive experience in Zabeel Park. When arriving, they were met with a team that guided them to the exhibit’s location.

Not knowing what to expect, each influencer scanned a QR code, pointed their cameras at the Dubai Frame, and saw AR portraits, each unveiling the men behind the portraits, finding out they are mechanics being celebrated in the world’s most iconic “Employee of the Month” initiative.

Influencers were moved, and shared their experiences with their 8.5Million followers.

Through social media, Castrol continued the conversation, unveiling behind-the-scenes videos of the making-off of the portraits- each with an intimate look at a person our audience had never seen before.


Business results:

Castrol Portraits of Glory has proven that putting people first and improving employee experience/satisfaction can drive commercial success. By elevating the role of mechanics and their satisfaction with Castrol, independent and chain workshops saw an opportunity to partner with the brand, foreseeing incremental growth through the hands of mechanics.

On top of positively influencing mechanics’ self-esteem, Portraits of Glory succeeded in a variety of fronts.

- Fostered a sense loyalty and relationship with mechanics.

- Solidified category leadership.

- Fast-tracked workshop network expansion.

1. Drive mechanic loyalty & engagement: Attract new mechanics to the UAE Castrol mechanic app

- As a result of the experience, the app/program grew by 75%, going from 4000 users in December 2021 to 7000 members post Portraits of Glory.

2. New customer partner acquisition: Grow current workshop network within the UAE

- Castrol added 150+ new workshops to its network.

3. Consumer base growth: Increase sales and accelerate market share gain vs SPLY (2021)

- Partners sales increase YTD of 15%

- Growth vs. last year of 16%

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Shell App for Connected Car - Digital Craft B02


Shell App for Connected Car - Digital Craft B02

2017, SHELL

(opens in a new tab)