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Conoco Pumps Up Marketing Effort

HOUSTON -- Conoco Inc., operator of more than 300 convenience stores, will launch next month the second phase of a $10 million ad campaign entitled "Good to go."

A 30-second TV spot, "Arriving," has little to do with pumping gas. Instead it shows how Conoco seamlessly fits into consumers' busy lifestyles, according to Brandweek a sister publication of Convenience Store News.

The ad depicts four executives in a carpool driving into a Conoco station. Three men in the group trip over themselves, in what appears to be an act of chivalry, to get coffee, wash the windows and pump gas for the woman who is driving. It turns out that she's the CEO of the company for which they work.

The TV starts April 15 in 38 markets including Chattanooga, Denver, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. Three new radio spots carrying "lifestyle snippets" also break in April. "Outdoor," featuring an elderly couple zipping away from their wedding ceremony on a motorcycle, breaks this month. New executions will be posted in May and August.

The first phase of the campaign, which is targeted at adults 25-54, included two TV spots that focused on the experience at the pump. The cost for the spots was $5 million. Conoco spent $10.5 million overall on media in 2000 and $11 million through November of 2001.

Houston-based Conoco is expected to complete its $35 billion merger with Phillips Petroleum in the second half of this year.
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