There was a time when petrol companies and gas stations competed to gain drivers' loyalty with recognizable gadgets, logos and mascots.
In Italy, the height of this trend coincided with the Carosello years: Carosello was a revolutionary program which introduced the concept of advertising on television and which petrol companies frequently featured in.
Advertising in the years between 1957 and 1977 was very different to modern-day advertising: it was a combination of theater, variety and animation which, in little over a minute, told a story which was then connected to the product it was promoting with a clever gimmick or catchy slogan.
No matter what the advertising technique, the goal remained the same: it aimed to impress consumers and remain etched in their minds. This objective seamlessly transitioned from television to the real world, and the real world experienced something out-of-this-world in 1969: the moon landing.
Shell launched a collection of golden coins which depicted flying pioneers, from Icarus to the Wright brothers. These coins could obviously be purchased at gas stations, the very same places where you could see a two-meter tall inflatable mannequin, purposely created to mark the occasion: the Shell astronaut.
One of these mannequins, a rare collector's item, will appear in Pavilion 8 at Auto e Moto d'Epoca in Padua. But it definitely won't be the only rare item on show. From summer gadgets to Christmas decorations, stickers to neon signs, the exhibition will offer a vast selection of memorabilia dedicated to the car universe. Such a collection is practically impossible to find gathered in one place, if not at Auto e Moto d'Epoca.