Technical claims for the motor oil are out, as the company aims beyond the traditional male audience, said Tom Floyd, chief marketing officer at Pennzoil.
"A lot of motor oil ads are very technology-based . . . but people really don't care much about that," Mr. Floyd said. "Our new advertising is going to be a dramatic and refreshing change from what motor oil companies have been known for in the past."
The first campaign from new ad agency GSD&M, Austin, Texas, carries the tag, "Stop. Go. Penn-zoil."
Pennzoil's new approach is designed to reach more women, who may be more apt than males to go to an oil-change service store.
"When they buy that service, we want them to ask for Pennzoil," Mr. Floyd said.
TV spots, with some footage of Pennzoil-related auto racing, will hit broadcast and cable TV by the end of February. Print broke in USA Today Jan. 24, focusing on how Pennzoil can help ease engine stress caused by stop-and-go driving.
Mr. Floyd said Pennzoil will spend about the same on advertising in 1997 as last year, when it spent about $40 million.
For the second year, the client will sponsor "Pennzoil at the Half" during NCAA basketball games on CBS. Radio spots will support.
GSD&M is working with Rod-riguez & Olguin, Austin, to reach more Hispanics via the media buy as well. Mr. Floyd said it's too soon to say whether Spanish versions of the ads will be done.
Pennzoil also is revving up its motorsports participation. Among other things, it is expanding its race sponsorship.
Among the additions are the 72-race World of Outlaws sprint car program sponsorship; 10 races will air live on TNN. It has added truck racer Tony Raines to its stable.