Product / ServiceCASTROL
CategoryE08. Community Building & Management
Idea Creation MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Media Placement MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Production 2 NORMCORE Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Jeri Hu BP - Castrol Brand Team Leader
Snow Shi BP - Castrol Brand Activation Manager
Jenny Liu BP - Castrol Channel Marketing Manager - Castrol Auto Services
Winston Lai BP - Castrol Global Brand Manager
Elaine Tai BP - Castrol China Marketing Director
Jia Tan BP - Castrol Global Brand Director
Thunder Shi Mindshare General Manager
Doris Zhou Mindshare Partner
Frank Zhang Mindshare Associate Director
Rocker Hu Mindshare Manager
Frank Wang Mindshare Associate
Jessy Chen Mindshare Associate


Castrol is a leading lubricant oil brand. Lubricant oil category users are male car owners from 25-45, and they only care about the category twice a year – when they change lube oil during maintenance. This means the category is low frequency and low involvement. Traditional advertising has very limited impact on consumers. The lubricant oil category business is driven by independent workshops (IWS) sales, especially mechanics’ recommendations. But unlike shops in a fast food chain, Castrol has no control over these independent workshops because they are managed by individual owners. Independent workshops have no incentives to take part in Castrol’s communication campaigns. How could we get the mechanics in independent workshops to care about Castrol and create a community of our most important influencers, helping to develop Castrol’s positioning and brand awareness nationally in China?

Describe the creative idea

Castrol decided that it needed to create a nation-wide community for its most important influencers, mechanics, and get their help influencing customers to chose Castrol as their lubricant oil of choice. To do this, Castrol launched built a new program on platform mechanics already use day in and day out, WeChat. Specifically, a WeChat mini program. Within the platform, Castrol created a space for mechanics to learn more about Castrol's unique product features.To make sure mechanics would want to be part of this community, Castrol gamified the experience, helping to create positive competitive energy and a sense of community for China's mechanics. (Mini programs are essentially apps within an app – a user can open them without ever leaving WeChat. This makes for an innately shareable user experience.)

Describe the strategy

We know mechanics’ recommendation is the most important influence for consumers. If mechanics can clearly deliver Castrol’s unique selling point and campaign information to consumers during car maintenance, we could drastically improve conversion. But educating and motivating mechanics is not easy. Mechanics are usually over worked already, don’t have time to sit down for regular trainings. Workshops also don’t want to stress their most important assets even more. Our strategy then become three-fold: 1. Keep the learning light and interesting 2. Keep the learning long-term 3. Make the incentives practical and tangible The campaign was 100% mobile.

Describe the execution

First, mechanics could choose their store location by uploading their store front photo for registration. Once they registered, they received a bespoke poster for their store. Inside the app, mechanics found a special brand zone with knowledge around how Castrol lubricants work around different types of engines. This not only enriches mechanics’ knowledge about Castrol, but also increases their credibility when they actually recommend Castrol. Mechanics could then compete in a Q&A game to test their knowledge to test their knowledge and enter for lucky draws. By playing the game, they also earned points for their workshops on a monthly leaderboard. The winning workshops received practical, valuable prizes like toolkits and products. Mechanics could also invite their mechanic friends to join the competition to win extra lucky draws chances by simply sharing the mini program. They could also invite their customers to vote for their favorite mechanics.

List the results

As a firm believer in smart marketing, Castrol wanted to find strategic ways to use less budget to create more impact. Turning to our high-involvement B2B audience, instead of the low involvement B2C audience, Castrol was able to tap into a new target audience. By creating a community for this often unheard group of specialists, Castrol was able to generate fantastic sales results cost-effectively, and use mechanics as influencers to drive general brand awareness – B2B2C. The campaign was a complete hit. Over 900 independent workshops participated, and more than 13,000 individual mechanics joined the campaign to become our best influencers, driving Castrol’s popularity, awareness and sales nationally throughout China, and providing Castrol with a large B2B contact database. The performance was 6 times better than our original target.

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