MOTOR OIL COMPANY and BP subsidiary Castrol is about to start drive-by-badgering drivers about what kind of lubricant they should be using in their cars.
Thanks to some blue-sky, 'lets run it up the flagpole and see who salutes', 'push-the-envelope' thinking from ad agency Ogilvy Advertising, the firm will position cameras and blinking billboards by the side of the road and use them to flash oil suggestions at car drivers. The 'service' is so far only on trial and that will run for two weeks - or until some distracted driver loses control and smashes into one of the signs in question.
Thanks to a privacy-tickling arrangement with the DVLA, Castrol apparently is in a position to search for vehicle details based on licence plates, specifically the make and model of car, and use that to put up a display that tells drivers to change their oil to the most applicable formula.
Cameras will be placed in parts of London with slow moving traffic, which shouldn't be too hard to find, and will flash at drivers before telling them what type of Castrol oil they should be using. A bit like a backseat mother-in-law who works for Castrol.
No registration plate data will be stored, so no one will be able to tell what kind of car you drive unless, of course, they actually see you driving it.
There are five areas of London that drivers might want to avoid for a while and they are: Stamford Street in Blackfriars, Vauxhall Cross in Lambeth, Fulham Palace Road in Hammersmith, the Chiswick roundabout in Hounslow and Warwick Road in Kensington and Chelsea. µ