Oily warning signs

Is Quaker State Corp.’s new chairman/ceo Herb Baum about to put the company’s $15-million account, now eith Grey Advertising/N.Y., into review? Baum said no. But he met Friday with agency execs to discuss a new strategy and to approve an interim campaign. The first casualty of a new direction may be celebrity spodesperson Burt Reynolds. Sources also said that the former Campbell Soup North America president has met with at least one agency in recently weeks, believed to be current Campbell shop Backer Spielvogel Bates.
“One thing I’m positive about is that the current advertising has not been researched,” said Baum, who favored thorough testing during his tenure at Csampbell Soup. “We are doing ‘promise testing’ where we determine all the possible things we can say about Quaker Stae and consumers rate what is the most compelling.”
Last Friday, he met with Grey Advertising executives and signed off on awn “interim campaign” for the motor oil.
In addition, he has instructed Grey to conduct extensive research on the brand in order to unearth a strong selling message, something that’s been missing in recent ad efforts, he said.
Baum said the interim canpaign will go into production after “some fine-tuning,” but that it’s expected to hit the airwaves Aug. 2.
He would not discuss specifics of the campaign. One idea Grey pitched is to position Quaker State as the motor oil for “high-tech” engines, but Buam is believed to have nixed that concept.
After only three weeks at the helm of Quaker State Corp., Baum has moved quickly to re-evalute the company’s marketing strategy. Those efforts could park current spokeperson Burt Reynolds in a permanent pit stop. That campaign used Reynolds to tout the brands toughness.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)