Texaco Pumps Up Its Emotions

BBDO Houston Emphasizes Feelings for CleanSystem3 Gasoline
DALLAS–A $14 million campaign for Texaco’s CleanSystem3 gasoline takes an off-road approach with an exuberant television commercial that emphasizes emotion over product attributes.
The work is the first for the client from BBDO Houston under the auspices of executive creative director Pat Cunningham. The former chairman and chief creative officer worldwide of N.W. Ayer & Partners in New York joined BBDO last fall.
Using the B.J. Thomas song “Hooked on a Feeling” as background, three versions of the spot show people running, swinging, turning cartwheels and, yes, driving, in a tribute to the glory of motion. The lyrics, changed to “Oh, that fifth-tank feeling,” are the only reference to the brand’s purported ability to clean car engines after five fill-ups.
“My philosophy is to concentrate on the end benefit to the consumer,” said Cunningham. “Getting gasoline is a chore . . . We wanted to look at the end benefit–the exhilaration you feel when you’re driving and you car is running smoothly.
“We also wanted to contemporize the brand,” he added. “I’ve seen every commercial that’s been done in this category. They’re old-fashioned and boring.”
The commercials break June 19 in 14 markets nationwide on both network and cable television. National buys are planned for the Summer Olympics and for fall programming.
The campaign is a major push for Texaco, which spent just $5.6 million promoting its gasoline brands last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The ads reintroduce the “Star of the American road” tagline, which was dropped several years ago by Texaco Corp., now part of the Shell-Texaco Alliance.
“We believe that has a strong product message and we’ll be carrying it on to point-of-purchase, outdoor and other media,” said Stu Crum, director of marketing for Equiva Services, the marketing arm of Shell-Texaco Alliance.
Separately, BBDO this month introduced the latest commercial in its ongoing “Add more life to your car” campaign for Havoline Formula3 motor oil. Featuring Nascar team owner Robert Yates, the spot airing nationally on cable networks including CNN and sports programming. The TV element is supported by radio and print. K