In 60’s Esso launched an brilliant ad compaign to boost the sales. “Put a tiger in your tank” was a slogan created in 1959 by Emery Smith, a young Chicago copywriter.
A bit of history of ESSO. Esso was the brand name under which Standard Oil of New Jersey started marketing its products in 1926. In 1972, the name Esso was largely replaced in the U.S. by the Exxon brand while the Esso name remained widely used elsewhere. In most of the world, the Esso brand and the Mobil brand are the primary brand names of ExxonMobil, while the Exxon brand is used only in the United States alongside Mobil.
It was to promote sales of car petrol. The advertisement was called “Tiger in your car tank” or “put a tiger in car tank”.
The tiger as we all know is the fabulous animal. It is called the king of jungle because of its power and roar which makes the jungle tremble with fear.
The compaign was so successful that the company launched artificial tiger tails which the car owners hung on the tank cap.
A record 2.5 million artificial tiger tails were sold in America alone. The tails are still available as momentos.
The compaign likened the Esso fuel to the tiger. Filling the tank with this fuel, was like unleashing a beast as powerful as a tiger. Even the petrol hoses were adorned with tiger momentos.
The slogan was so successful that it entered the lexicon. The sentence in the slogan means “A lot of vigor, determination, and motivation”.