Barkley Evergreen Rebrands Citgo

Gas Chain Offers a Stronger ‘Personality’ in First Corporate Effort
CHICAGO–In its first-ever branding effort, Citgo Petroleum Co. attempts to link friendly faces with its well-known triangular logo.
The campaign, from Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Mo., is scheduled to break during the first quarter of 1999. The tagline, “You know me,” positions the Tulsa, Okla.-based company as a familiar part of people’s daily lives. The effort is the agency’s first work for the client since picking up the $12-15 million corporate account in May.
Against the backdrop of Johnny Cash singing “I’ve Been Everywhere,” the 30-second spots feature shots of smiling Citgo employees and customers, with accompanying type explaining how people may know the brand as “an owner,” “a neighbor” and “a friend.”
The spots are intended to create a “national portrait” of the company and “rekindle” the knowledge of a familiar brand, said agency creative director David Farmer.
The agency’s research indicated that while Citgo’s logo was well-known, there was no “personality” attached to the brand, he said.
Citgo has more than 14,000 service stations in 47 states, many of them operated in conjunction with local convenience store brands or 7-Elevens. The stations have no standardized look, and, as a result, the company has had difficulty connecting with consumers, Farmer said.
The spots are meant to focus consumer attention on the Citgo brand that may be attached to those convenience stores, while also showing how prevalent the brand already is in people’s lives, Farmer said.
“[Citgo is] going through a whole rejuvenation process,” he said. “The first step was to re-establish Citgo as ‘the people who know me.'”
The spots will air on broadcast and cable networks beginning early in the first quarter, Farmer said. They will be supported by spot newspaper advertising and point-of-sale materials that will echo the “You know me” positioning line.
The campaign is Citgo’s first concerted branding effort. The company spent nearly $10 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Creative duties had been handled by 911, a consortium of Chicago freelancers, some of whom had worked at the now-defunct Wells Rich Greene, which was Citgo’s agency of record several years ago.