Pennzoil-Quaker State use “e-cards’ to Promote Brands

The Woodlands, TX - January 12, 2001- How does a company with hundreds of consumer products and dozens of brands effectively promote them? Traditionally most large companies have used print ads, television commercials and outdoor advertising. Today the Web is hot, but any company's site is in competition with literally millions of pages that are part of the digital landscape. So how can a company use new media to cut through the clutter and encourage a consumer to focus on their brand?

The Pennzoil-Quaker State Company has found success with the "e-card", a business card sized CD-ROM packed with product information, web links, 2D and 3D animation, sound and music. Mike Maddox, the Technical Service Manager for Pennzoil-Quaker State said "Our company has a long history of innovation in the automotive technology. We also take great pride in the quality of the sales and technical information we provide to our customers. The e-card represents a great way to help our customers find this information instantly."

How does the e-card work? Vic Cherubini, President of the epic software group, inc., the company that produced the e-card for Maddox, said, "Although the e-card is no bigger than a traditional business card we can pack over 32MB of information on it. The e-card can contain everything from simple text, to full color graphics, animations and even video. Just how much information is 32 MB? Here is what an e-card can hold:

  • Up to 9,000 pages of 8 1/2" x 11" text
  • Up to 30 minutes of audio
  • Up to 90 screens of 640 x 480 graphics
  • Up to 4 min. of 320 x 240 compressed video, or 2 minutes of full screen video.
  • Hundreds of web links, e-mail links, animated Flash presentations and much more.

Pennzoil-Quaker State is using the e-card primarily as means to help promote the web sites of their individual brands such as Gumout, Slick 50, Jiffy Lube and Blue Coral. There are many other uses for e-cards. For example:

Typical applications for e-cards include:

  • Interactive Product Brochures -use an e-card to bring a static product to life
  • Corporate Brochures - dramatically tell a company's story with video and multimedia
  • Press Kits - differentiate you pitch from the competition - an e-card demands attention.
  • Catalogs - 32 megabytes of pure power-the ultimate hi-tech presentation
  • Product Launches - showcase a new product with video, animation and sound.
  • Business Cards - Put your business card to work as your "Silent Salesman"

How is an e-card created? "The process is straightforward," said Maddox. "I met with the epic team of artists, animators and programmers and we spent some time brainstorming on the content of the card. We developed a theme - in this case we used an ethylene molecule because many of our products are hydrocarbon based, and an animated molecule makes for a really cool interface. A script was developed, all the assets (photos, text, web links, sounds, etc.) were acquired from Pennzoil-Quaker State, and the original content was created by epic, " said Maddox.

Over the next three weeks, epic created the e-card then had several thousand copies duplicated. Pennzoil-Quaker State distributes their e-card at trade shows, and for use in corporate promotions. This is not the first time Pennzoil-Quaker State has worked with epic on digital sales promotion. "Ten years ago, epic software group created the first electronic catalog for our Gumout division. Back then we were trying to decide if we should distribute the information on a 5.25" floppy disk, or a 3.5" diskette. It is amazing to see how the technology has progressed over the years. It would take 100 of those 5.25" disks to hold the information on an e-card that fits in my wallet!" said Maddox.

About Pennzoil-Quaker State Company:

Pennzoil-Quaker State Company is a leading worldwide automotive consumer products company, marketing over 1,300 products with 20 leading brands in more than 50 countries. The company markets Pennzoil® and Quaker State® brand motor oils, the number one and number two selling motor oils in the United States. Jiffy Lube, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, is the world's largest fast lube operator and franchiser. For more information about Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, visit its web site at