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Gasoline and promotion

The automobile and tire manufacturers also began giving away badges, pins, and pen knives. And eventually, this competition strategy reached the world of gasoline distribution.

One of the first promotional initiatives was that taken by Gulf Oil Company which, in 1914, sent more that 10,000 street maps, with promotional material attached, of a part of Pennsylvania to motorists, which was then followed by other maps sent by mail or offered directly at the filling station.

Others used similar tactics, focusing always on the practical but pleasing small object.

Even the vendors were regaled with plaques of recognition, accessories and trademark-bearing tools to use in their work.

The Twenties brought similar promotional schemes to Europe as well: one saw pocket knives in the form of gas pumps, booklets and other little knick-knacks, while the Michelin Bibendum, donated to tire shops in innumerable variations, was rendered more visible every day.