Spikes Asia

Record Breaking Fuel

VMLY&R ASIA, Singapore / CALTEX / 2019

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This is the real story of how a brand with 3 TIMES FEWER petrol stations, up to 30 TIMES LESSER advertising budget and indifferent consumers, used a WORLD BEATING EXPERIENCE to get drivers across Asia to drive an extra kilometer or 2 to actively choose Caltex.

Caltex cut through the competition and delivered on the objective of growing brand preference for Caltex in each of its 6 markets in southeast Asia.


People don’t think about the brand of petrol in their car. So, how do we get people to sit up and take notice of Caltex and actually get them to share in an experience that changes their behaviour.

We couldn’t really combat F1 sponsorships. We needed the right partners who could help us shake up the category. We needed to prove to consumers that any fuel could make a super car go fast, but only Caltex can make your car do great things.

Thus, was born our big idea: Get Caltex to use an Ordinary car to do an Extraordinary feat.

We worked with Guinness World Records and National Geographic to create an experience like no other. We took a modest Honda Civic, in fact a 28-year old Honda Civic, filled it up with Caltex, and broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest 1000m ascent.


What do you do when you have less stations, less budgets and less reach than most other brands in your category? You don’t play by the rules!

We needed to be disruptive! And disruptive in a way that we don’t just beat the bigger boys in messaging but in actual preference.

Our Experience strategy was built around the insight that while people loved supercars, they didn’t identify their Toyotas and Hyundais with them. We needed to connect with that everyday experience and show Caltex making a huge difference.

For Caltex, the strategy was about creating a disruptive experience –

Move the superiority conversation from the space of supercars to everyday cars.

Super cars are synonymous with performance, but they weren’t proof of a fuel’s performance, so our strategy needed to make sure the experience had partners who were unequivocal proof of the performance credentials.


To show Caltex can make ordinary cars do extraordinary things, we pulled together a 28-year old Honda Civic and an expert driver on Doi Chang mountain in Thailand.

With our partners National Geographic and Guinness World Records, we shattered the record for a 1000m ascent up Doi Chang mountain and were awarded a Guinness World Record certificate.

The entire experience, garage work, and record attempt were filmed by National Geographic and turned into a two-episode series on their Asia network.

Snippets of the episodes were also used on targeted digital communication to car owners through Caltex and National Geographic digital channels and convinced them to visit their nearest Caltex stations.

Our video and communication drove a fuel brand rethink by asking drivers a piercing question – “Caltex just powered an old Honda Civic to a world-record. What can your fuel do?”



The campaign broke mid-June 2019 and by July same store sales saw an uplift of above 37% in all markets*.

Markets % uplift (May 2019 vs. July 2019)

MY 39.97

TH 38.12

PH 37.35

HK 40.57

SG 40.92

KH 38.50

*Source: Market Track by Caltex. Same store sales is a true measure of effectiveness, as it measures sales in the same stores month on month.

Post-campaign brand preference growth*

• % growth for ‘Would recommend Caltex’ were 46.04%

• % growth for ‘Caltex is the fuel that gives my car power’ was 40.32%

• % growth for ‘Caltex is a high-quality fuel’ was 45.84%

*Top 2 Box scores. Client post-campaign dipstick August 2019

Reach and Engagement

The campaign completed views totaling 16.4mn on our YouTube and Facebook channels as of 20th Aug 2019. And just to compare, the most popular video on Ferrari YouTube channel has only 7mn views.

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