Using mud to show clean

Client: Shell
Campaign: The Cut Car



Shell Helix Ultra was a breakthrough product. It wasn’t just a lubricant. It had something called ‘Active Cleansing Technology’ – it kept your engine clean.

We had a great story to tell but we needed to tell it in 20 different languages in over 45 markets. And whilst cleanliness was a great rational benefit, we also needed to engage our target emotionally to cut through in a cluttered marketplace.


Across the world our audience was united by their love of the raw power that cars, engines and machines possess. There’s more for them to engage in with dirt and noise than the world of shiny and clean.


Our idea was to take a filthy rally car – and cut it in half, revealing its shiny, clean engine. We signed this off with a simple line ‘Clean on the inside’. This iconic image and line was used across all media across all markets.


‘Cut Car’ was brand tracked in Thailand, Russia and China and in all these markets it achieved cut through and recognition scores that beat all previous years and all competitors.

The strength of product branding was 2-3 times higher than competitors. Claimed likelihood to purchase more than doubled in those markets.

Overall, the campaign was felt by Shell to be a key factor in the brand’s shift to the number 1 motor lubricant brand in the world.

How do you intelligently touch the raw human nerve around the world to communicate technical excellence (head) and passion (heart)? Go to Antidote - they did this for Shell globally.