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Communicate Levant | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Communicate Levant | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Total goes full geek


Total goes full geek

For the global launch of its new fuel Total Excellium, the oil & gas company went down a very Ready Player One road.

The campaign, designed by Paris-based ad agency BETC, aims to illustrate how Total Excellium’s army of additives fights dirt in a car engine by showing an actual battle: going for a total (pun intended) blockbuster-style film, the brand shows heroes identified with various genres, eras and universes (from superheroes to sci-fi or fantasy), battling trolls, orcs and goblins. 

This quite unusual approach, kept under a heavy shroud of secrecy until its unveiling on April 11, stems from the client’s three requirements: “First, the pedagogy, because a survey we had conducted across 14 countries had shown us that more than 51% of people didn’t know what premium fuel is and we needed to explain that to them. Secondly, originality; we wanted [the agency] to do a fantastic, impactful movie. Thirdly, and that was the most challenging point, we wanted an international movie that everybody can understand in the more than 40 countries in the world where Total is selling the product,” explains Christelle Halwajian, fuel marketing manager at Total headquarters in Paris.

With this epic venture, Total hopes to make the concept easy to understand: the fight on screen basically reflects what’s happening in your car’s engine. “And, of course, our army wins the fight at the end,” says Halwajian with a smile.

Surfing on the success of the Marvel movies and the breathless anxiety worldwide around the last season of Game of Thrones starting this Sunday, “it’s a nice way to communicate not only with youngsters, but also with everybody else,” adds Halwajian, who further explains: “We asked an Australian director [Simon McQuoid] to do the movie because he’s used to these movie codes. We also had actors from the UK, a nice scenery shot in Slovenia for the fantasy landscape. And we chose characters from all continents: for example, Massai from Africa, ninjas from Asia, superheroes from America, musketeers from Europe…”

The campaign was first launched in Mauritius, followed by France and Lebanon where the new product is available in Total service stations. Some 40 other markets will see it soon in all its formats: digital, print, radio, activations in gas stations and more.

Winter is coming, and so is Total Excellium.

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