|Evolution of the Company Symbol
Industrial surveys repeatedly rank the Sinclair dinosaur as one of the most potent symbols of American business. Remarkably high percentages identify the dinosaur with Sinclair. This association is positive and pleasant. There is almost no confusion between Sinclair's Dino and other corporate trademarks. Marketing experts agree that the dinosaur is a "powerful unifying and associating concept." the connotation penetrates deeply. Children are as fascinated with the pre-historic uniqueness of the dinosaurs as are adults and the correlation with Sinclair therefore begins at an early age. Few trademarks can equal Dino's unique appeals.
Identification with Dinosaurs Began in Advertising of 1930
In 1930, Sinclair's advertising writers noted that Wellsville-refined lubricants—the best in the trade—derived from Pennsylvania grade crudes laid down more than 270 million years earlier. These oils were mellowing in the ground during the Mesozoic era when dinosaurs populated the earth. The obvious sales message was: the oldest crudes make the best oils. But how to dramatize this?
A series of advertisements in 104 newspapers and five national magazines feature a dozen of the strange dinosaurs, from hideous-fanged tyrannosaurus rex and three-horned triceratops, to the unaggressive, vegetarian apatosaurus (brontosaurus), a 40-ton lizard with neck and tail each 30 feet long. The campaign—confined entirely to Wellsville oils—was a great success. The curiosity value of it was tremendous.
But there was a significant and unexpected windfall. One of the dinosaurs generated a remarkable popular appeal, in fact was a real glamour boy: peace-loving but massive apatosaurus. The public equated him with power, endurance and stamina, the prime qualities of Sinclair products.
Without any particular promotion, the public accepted the apatosaurus affectionately as Sinclair's "Dino." He's been Dino ever since.
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