I found this cool old tray at an antique shop yard sale in Pittsburgh last year. We are downsizing, and it's got to go. :(
This cool old blast from the past is an Esso (later, Exxon) Gasoline promotional item. They hired McCann-Erickson who came up with the “Put a Tiger in your Tank” slogan in 1959 for advertisement and added the Esso Tiger logo in 1964, which really caught on...hence products like this very tray. And, indeed, it's a fun tray...very typical of 1960s style in its cartoon/illustrations.
Diameter: 13 inches
Condition: scuffy, scratched, slightly rusted, and dented. shabby for sure, but the cartoons are still pretty bright and are in better condition than the rest of the tray. I'm not trying to downplay the tray, but I like to be honest. It'll still be a great conversation piece and is nothing to be ashamed of, which should be clear in the photos.
Thanks to Jason at House of Awesome
here on Etsy for the following info on choosing the tiger as the mascot for Esso back in the day:
"The tiger is seen as the king of the forest. It epitomizes regality, supremacy strength, and energy. Don’t you like having the king empowering you as you speed down the highway fast and free?"
Great line from Emery Smith, the copywriter of an advertising agency from Chicago tasked by Esso in 1959 to create a newspaper advertisement to boost petrol sale.
In 1964, a lovable tiger cartoon character was introduced. Coupled with the slogan, the new look was a hit. Sales soared and the entire advertising campaign was the talking point in the industry. So much so that the famous Time magazine proclaimed 1964 as “The Year of the Tiger” along Madison Avenue. Within 12 months, the Esso Tiger were seen roaming throughout Europe, Australia and the Far East. Interesting, Esso brought back live tiger in the 1970 and it has co-existed with the cartoon tiger in most of Exxon’s worldwide markets. In 1982, Exxon featured the live tiger in USA, and it is also seen as a moving car that turns into a racing tiger in TVCs. Among the most talk about promotion campaign that Esso has done worldwide is having car owners tying a fake tiger tails to their petrol tanks to win great prizes."
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.