Monday, August 30, 2010

What's Up with ARCO's Straight Up Gas Institute?

You may have noticed an odd ad campaign recently started by ARCO called Straight Up Gas Institute, which is being prominently shown on billboards. You can also watch videos where Greek mathematician "ARCOmedes" in his robe and fake beard says, "I ARCO, therefore I save."

The point of these ads is to emphasize that you save money going to ARCO stations and get other basic amenities. ARCO just wants to get straight about it - get to the point, right? You get three benefits, according to ARCO - saving 5 to 10 cents per gallon compared to competitors, quality fuel meeting EPA and ASTM standards, and the convenience of its PayQuick payment system. ARCO probably isn't investing big bucks in this marketing game, but there must be a reason for it occurring. And it's not a common occurrence to see oil companies doing much in the way of marketing campaigns these days.

Here's my thinking on the subject on why this is happening:
1. Gasoline prices are slowly climbing back up. You'd want to stand out in the market as a cheaper place to gas up, and not just by going to discount stations.
2. Oil companies are getting a negative vibe these days because of the Gulf oil spill and in the past few years with the popularity of cutting down our addiction to foreign oil.
3. The green part of the equation, hence the reference to EPA.
4. Convenience - there are tons of ARCO stations out there and they say they're convenient to use. As car owners look at options on the market, including alt fuel vehicles, there's always concern about what it will take to keep that car moving in a manner that doesn't add too much to your busy life.


Sebass10 said...

My personal opinion is this. Their slogan should be something more appropriate like "Straight Up Your Ass" This is how I feel every time I fill up the tank. Oil companies are reaping obscene profits and then attempt to spin it as if we are getting some sort of special treatment by buying their product.

Anonymous said...

It also is a slogan that attempts to depersonalize oil consumption, making it seem like a simple, necessary commodity. The reality is that burning carbon will be the death sentence for the planet that sustains our existence.