SPRING, Texas – The oil brand Mobil 1 will sponsor and launch the Keep Route 66 Kickin’ campaign and website. The campaign will to help to preserve one of America’s most famous roads, Route 66, by promoting stories, memories and the actual businesses along the route.
The move to elevate and encourage roadside and visitor attractions harkens back to the early days of oil company maps, guidebooks and promotions. The move comes roughly a dozen years after Mobil discontinued the authoritative road guidebooks, the Mobile Guide. The unfortunate move was a loss for the company’s prestige and brand, as the guide connected Mobil to the top restaurants, hotels and sights across the U.S.
With the new campaign, the Mobil 1 Muffler Man will travel Route 66, “stopping at small businesses along the way and spotlighting their impact on Route 66 through world record attempts.”
“At Mobil 1, we believe in the rejuvenating power of driving – and we are committed to helping drivers get the most out of any car they drive, so they can let go of their worries and get more out of the road,” said Bryce Huschka, Consumer Marketing and Growth Manager at ExxonMobil, in a press release. “Route 66 is an embodiment of our mission to spread the love of driving as an escape from our day-to-day – which is why it was so important for us to ensure we Keep Route 66 Kickin’.”
The website link highlights individual businesses that can be seen along Route 66. For instance, in Illinois, the site features Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago, Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, the Route History Museum in Springfield, Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, and the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum.
Car Itself Needs Rescuing
The move comes at a difficult time for oil and energy brands, as there are interests in the U.S. and around the world that seek to eliminate gas powered cars. The promotion was coincidentally announced around the same time the state of California announced it would ban the sale of petroleum fueled cars after 2035.
The road dates from 1926. The effort to connect a brand to the road echoes a promotion from Hampton Inns, which actually gave money to help preserve roadside attractions.