The Movie Marketing Blog: Castrol and The Fast and the Furious come together for ice driving challenge

At the risk of bursting your bubble, you have to know that Vin Diesel, The Rock, Michelle Rodriguez and the rest of the cast of the Fast and the Furious franchise don’t do all their own driving in those movies. I know, I know. But many of those amazing sequences that are captured in the movies are performed by stunt drivers.

One of those stunt drivers finally gets a bit of the spotlight in a new campaign from Castrol Edge, which has partnered with Universal Pictures to help promote the upcoming The Fate of the Furious. The Titanium Ice Driving Challenge is the latest entry in the Titanium Trials, an ongoing effort from Castrol Edge designed to show off professional drivers doing their thing in extreme conditions, competing against themselves via simulation technology and more.

In this latest Titanium Trials short film, Fate of the Furious stunt driver Debbie Evans slides into a Jaguar F-Type 5.0 Supercharged V8, which is a fast-moving, sleek car. She then puts on an augmented reality headset from Unit9 and is immersed in a world of mixed reality. Evans is challenged by Michelle Rodriguez, who appears in that virtual environment, to navigate not only the Yukon wilderness but also a mixed reality world of tanks, helicopters, cracking ice and more.

“The creative concept for the Titanium Trials came from Castrol’s DNA,” said Kerim Kermen, Castrol America's regional marketing director, citing Castrol’s long history powering the vehicles that set land-speed records back in the 1920s and '30s.

It then made sense to apply that “extreme” thinking to the Fast and the Furious franchise.

“The target audience we’re talking to is very similar to the target audience for the Fast and the Furious movies,” said Kermen, pointing out that Castrol is very much aligned with the franchise’s consistent theme of pushing cars beyond the limits of what anyone thought they were capable of.

With a relationship with Universal already in place - Castrol had worked with the studio on the third Fast and the Furious movie, Tokyo Drift - it was easy to pitch the idea to the studio and approvals came quickly. Then, it was just a matter of putting together the actual execution.

“Once we had an idea of how the creative would work we thought it would be fantastic to have some of the movie’s talent to introduce the challenge," Kermen said. "One of the movie’s producers recommended using Evans since she’s an amazing driver and didn’t need any additional training. It was natural then to get Rodriguez and her stunt driver involved.”

As for integrating the mixed reality elements, doing so presented both challenges and opportunities, particularly to push the boundaries of technology in the same way Castrol wanted to push the boundaries of what’s possible with cars. Evans, said Kermen took the headset quickly, becoming an expert in driving with it inside of a half hour.

The full video is available now on YouTube and 30-second versions will begin running on CBS throughout the NCAA March Madness championship tournament games. The campaign extends to Fandango, which will run pre-roll ads and place Castrol brand ads on all Fate of the Furious content on that site, as well as Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.