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Competitive market

The purest and most spectacular promotional tactic, the hook that would capture the customer’s attention by way of his imagination, was still not yet to be seen, not even in America.

To unleash it would require the crisis of 1929, which would cause the consumption of fuel to contract dramatically and thus escalate the competition among producers to levels never before seen.

So, while the American housewife was beginning to find little gifts in the packaging of many products, he who stopped at the service station for a fill-up could also expect to be delighted by a small gift presented to him by the attendant.

A good luck charm, a key ring, a personalized book of matches, or even a set of salt and pepper shakers in the form of gasoline pumps; or further still a piggybank, an ashtray, a cigarette lighter, all of which, naturally, bore the company trademark, or were indeed modeled in the very form of the trademark.

One important aspect of these gifts was that they were made from a new material able to give life, at a reasonable cost, to fantasy, and that was plastic.

Promotional gift-giving has been, ever since, a common sales tool in the world of fuels.