Author Topic: Pink Air  (Read 866 times)

Offline W. Gray

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Pink Air
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:59:13 pm »
Frank, do you remember the oil company that came up with this marketing gimmick? This was back when you could drive into a service station and fill your tire(s) with air. Try filling up with air at a station now--with PJs being an exception.



This oil company made a major announcement in 1961 that by 1966 they would have the technology to fill their gas customers' tires with pink air. Then, year after year they kept advertising with full page newspaper ads that pink air was coming.

A lot of people looked forward to how they were going to do it, but in 1966 I was not in a position to hear or see what happened and afterwards have never heard how they wiggled out.
 
"If one of the many corrupt...county-seat contests must be taken by way of illustration, the choice of Howard County, Kansas, is ideal." Dr. Everett Dick, The Sod-House Frontier, 1854-1890.
"One of the most expensive county-seat wars in terms of time and money lost...” Dr. Homer E Socolofsky, KSU

Offline Diane Amberg

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Re: Pink Air
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 02:44:52 pm »
We still have air at most places and only a few are for 25 cents. Most are still free. I never heard of pink air though.Why bother?

Offline jprxmkt

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Re: Pink Air
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 11:16:08 pm »
This is what Wikipedia says about it:
The FINA brand appeared on gasoline and other petroleum products at Panhandle stations in 1958, with the service stations rebranded as FINA in 1959 and service stations acquired through purchase of Cosden and other companies also converted to the FINA brand. In 1961, FINA introduced its Pink Air promotional campaign noting that while FINA gasolines were loaded with all the same ingredients that made their fuels "Exactly As Good As The Best" adding that only at FINA stations could motorists get "Pink Air" for their tires to keep them from deteriorating. In its "Pink Air" ads, Fina (then undergoing a major expansion of its marketing territory which encompassed the Mid-Continent region from Texas to Minnesota) noted that Pink Air was arriving at new FINA stations as fast as they could be opened and set a goal of having Pink Air in all of its stations by May 1966 - five years later.

In 1966, when "Pink Air" finally arrived at every FINA station, FINA replaced that campaign with a new one regarding an ingredient in its gasoline called "PFLASH." At a time when other US oil companies were promoting their gasoline products with campaigns such as Exxon/Esso's "Put A Tiger in Your Tank!", Shell's "Platformate" additive that improved gas mileage, Texaco's invitation to "Trust Your Car to the Man Who Wears The Star" and Mobil's "Detergent gasoline"; ""PFLASH", was promoted as an ingredient in FINA gasoline that would improve driving pleasure by "turning red lights green," "smoothing out rough roads," "improving the food at roadside restaurants" and "making you feel less sorry you ever got a driver's license." FINA stations even offered free "Pflash" bumper stickers to motorists who pulled in for gasoline purchases.

Offline Diane Amberg

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Re: Pink Air
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 09:37:12 am »
Thanks! So it was all a sales gimmick and nothing in the pink air was good for tires. HA!

Offline W. Gray

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Re: Pink Air
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 10:10:36 pm »
Fina Oil was a Belgian company. The US branch was known as American Petrofina. It is now part of the Total Oil company. As far as I know, the Pink Air campaign was limited to the American branch. Reason being that I was in Europe beginning in 1967, asked around about this Pink Air thing, and everyone thought I was crazy.....

The Pink Air development was part of the Fina Five Year Plan.

Here is an advertisement from the early 1960s:

“We are happy to report some progress. Our Pink Air Research Laboratory at Mount Pleasant, Texas is hard at work on the secret ingredient, which will turn air pink. We are still confident that we will be able to get it to our more than 2,000 Fina stations by May 12, 1966. About 4:30 P.M., we figure; some of our trucks don’t get around until late in the afternoon.

We will keep you posted.”

At around the same time, the company had coupons printed in a number of newspapers across the country that one could send in to company headquarters in Dallas to obtain a free sample of pink air. The only requirement besides providing name and address was to include the number of children one had. I cannot say for sure but I think the kids got pink balloons with the Fina logo, in return.

The company also painted some of their delivery trucks pink.

Fina was a big producer of asphalt and in conjunction with the pink air campaign, the company held a nationwide contest in which the winner would get fifteen yards of free pink asphalt for a driveway or similar project.

I had not heard of the PFLASH program, though.

"If one of the many corrupt...county-seat contests must be taken by way of illustration, the choice of Howard County, Kansas, is ideal." Dr. Everett Dick, The Sod-House Frontier, 1854-1890.
"One of the most expensive county-seat wars in terms of time and money lost...” Dr. Homer E Socolofsky, KSU

Offline Diane Amberg

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Re: Pink Air
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 11:19:19 am »
Weird, but interesting.Thanks.

Offline frawin

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Re: Pink Air
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2016, 06:32:01 pm »
Waldo, Fina had a Big Refinery in Big Spring Texas. I traded a lot of Crude oil with them, when I was West Txas Area Supply Director in Midland Texas with Phillips. We love your Posts, they are always Good and have lots of History. Waldo Keep on Keeping on.