Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Who do you think I am anyway, the Shell Answer Man?"

A question my children have heard me say a thousand times in response to another unanswerable demand for information...

Well, little darlings, and anyone who wasn't around in the 70s...

From the, February 22, 2007

(He) was part of a television advertising campaign by Shell Oil Co. back in the 1970s, in reaction to the oil shocks and gasoline shortages of that era. The Shell Answer Man was a nice-looking, pleasant-sounding fellow who would appear on the TV screen to ask and answer basic questions about driving in general and gasoline in particular.

With simple language, and in a disarming and folksy manner, the man from Shell would explain things that related to fuel usage, like how proper tire inflation was good for your gas mileage. Or he would discuss how “jackrabbit starts” wasted gasoline. Over a period of time, there were a variety of topical ads along those lines. If you were somewhat savvy about driving an automobile, there was nothing particularly new or revealing in the message. But if you were what we might characterize, with all due respect, as the “average consumer,” blissfully dwelling in energy La-La Land, then the Shell Answer Man offered some good advice. Well, it was good advice if you followed it.

This is the Shell Answer Man (but not as I remember him!)

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