Shell-Texaco Airs First Ads Under Alliance

DETROIT-The Shell-Texaco Alliance will launch two separate campaigns, backed by $40 million, starting June 1. Shell will be positioned by Ogilvy & Mather, Houston, as the full-service station and Texaco by BBDO, Houston, as the home of car-friendly gasoline.
The twin offensives are the first overseen by Anthony Gonsalves, general manager of brand management for the S-T alliance, who answers to both companies’ CEOs.
For Shell, Ogilvy’s spots tout several services to the Bachman Turner Overdrive lyrics “Let it roll down the highway.” The ads feature sometimes humorous, sometimes disarming testimonial-style requests from fictional customers on service.
In one, a girl asks Shell to make pump service quicker so that her little brother does not throw a fit. In another, a man in a cowboy hat asks for free air in an “aw-shucks” manner and Shell agrees, throwing in free water as well. The tagline: “Count on Shell to keep you going.”
Texaco ads say, “Get that fifth tank feeling” to encourage drivers to try Clean System 3 gasoline for five fillups to see the improvement in engine performance. In one quirky spot, an elderly man drops his wife off at the plastic surgeon and goes to get gas. When he picks her up, she’s been transformed into a model, but all the man notices is the amazing performance of his car’s engine.
The two companies formed joint ventures in 1998 to run certain operations, from refineries to gas pumps. But “you have to run each brand
like it’s the only brand you own,” Gonsalves said. Hence the separate campaigns. Both efforts are backed by outdoor and Internet executions. ƒ