When Young & Rubicam's San Francisco office created its humorous talking cars TV campaign for Chevron, little did it know it was going to launch the oil company into the toy business.
Each spot (one is shown here) in the 3-year-old campaign features a personable, animated car that talks about its life and why it likes clean gas. After the ads caught on, Chevron started offering plastic toy versions of the cars at gas stations around the country as a promotion, priced $6 for a set of three. As well as reinforcing the ads' message, the promotion "allows people to take part of Chevron home," said client marketing executive Glenn Weckerlin.
Millions of little cars later, Chevron is ramping up production of the toys this year to satisfy increasing demand among both kids and adults and is considering retail distribution, sources said. Separately, Peter Angleos, the executive creative director at Y&R who oversaw the campaign, has motored over to TBWA Chiat/Day, handing his talking car duties to Charlie McQuilkin. -Joan Voight