Esso – so that the light doesn't go out tomorrow

Advertising is a reliable reflection of its time. Historic car ads go hand-in-hand with the ads of the major energy companies that provide fossil fuels at the pumps. Fossil energy? Today Aral, Esso and the market companions promote a sustainable future.

The energy should inevitably be green, happy patchwork families draw green electricity at home or in peaceful coexistence with burners at the gas station. Are mineral oil companies currently going through a phase of purification – or is marketing only based on the market and legal requirements?

Let's shift down three gears together and beam ourselves to the year 1975. The future looked great because fossil fuels were no longer the only solution.

There would be something much better - which Esso promises the readers to take care of intensively.

So that the light doesn't go out for us tomorrow - Esso takes care of it!
So that the lights don't go out tomorrow - Esso will take care of it!

Esso – so that the light doesn't go out tomorrow

It's strange how up-to-date an advertising slogan from 1975 can be. Also think spontaneously of a politician who studied German, philosophy and philology when you “So that the light doesn't go out for us tomorrow” read? At least that's how I feel.

But no, you will not find any image advertising of this politician here. Quite the opposite.

It's about nuclear power and the material for the fuel rods. Uranium. Which again is not to be understood as a political statement. Just to look back in history.

In any case, in 1975 people were already thinking about the finite nature of oil reserves and the increasing hunger for energy in the world. Although the Chinese weren't really at the start yet, their industrialization had only just begun, but one had a rough idea of ​​what would happen in the coming decades.

Solar and wind power were also not an issue, not until now, but another one all the more so. In 1960 the first commercial German reactor was in operation in Kahl am Main (Link) gone. The Otto Hahn, also flying the German flag, was the third ship in the world to be nuclear-powered (Link) was on the way. Germany, as the world's leading innovator, relied on nuclear power as a future technology.

Nuclear fever had gripped the republic, futurologists were already seeing cars with nuclear reactors driving through the streets, and the nuclear age had been invoked since the early 50s. The mineral oil companies could not and should not be left out.

After all, who would still be talking about oil in 20 or 30 years if clean nuclear power were available?

Esso is looking for uranium
Esso is looking for uranium

Energy supplier Esso Erz searches for uranium

The Esso Group therefore sent search parties all over the world to cover the forecast demand for uranium. Today our uranium seekers are everywhere, promised the advertisement. In fact, Esso was active in Germany, with Esso Erz GmbH based in Nuremberg, which looked after the national uranium deposits.

In 1980, Esso Erz opened up the Christa mine in the Fichtelgebirge for uranium mining, but soon lost interest due to a lack of profitability.Link).

In 1975 no one thought of a possible failure, atom and uranium were the way to the future. This seemed so innovative to the Esso marketing strategists that image advertising began to be placed in car magazines. It was as euphoric as green charging current is being advertised in the present. Except that the Esso Group and its market companions saw nuclear power as a future blockbuster at the time.

Advertising reflects the current time, regardless of whether it's about cars or energy. Beliefs don't matter, or just almost never.

2 thoughts on "Esso – so that the light doesn't go out tomorrow"

  • blank

    Wonderfully written, this review. And yes, the slogan is strikingly up-to-date, evoking contemporary associations...
    Simple solutions and mono-causality are just a timeless part of human nature. There is always some holy grail or other, the most recent solution to everything. When will we finally learn to use the whole toolbox?
    My BioPower has just driven 3.000km on 1,5L fossil fuel per 100km. The rest is renewable raw materials, ideally even waste.

  • blank

    After all, you are open to technology, but only to put a cloak on your profitable oil business.
    Even if the Club of Rome's alarm reports at the end of the appeals were just propaganda, the oil companies are not really innovative. DEA is drilling in the Wadden Sea,...I still remember it as a saying at the time of reunification. Research in every direction would certainly be correct, whether e-fuels, dual fluid reactors, CO² separation,..., all things that are not desired in Germany by the current political establishment. Dual fluid reactors in particular process the nuclear waste and thus solve two problems! There is sufficient electricity and the dangerousness and half-life of nuclear waste is reduced to a minimum. Then you can also confidently drive an e-car.
    As a rule, doing without does not solve any problems. The hunger crises of mankind were not solved by renunciation but by mechanized agriculture, agrochemicals and stock management on a large scale.
    Back to Esso, the deposits in the Fichtelgebirge mountains didn't stand a chance against the opencast mines in the southern hemisphere in terms of their economic viability. Even the bismuth in the Ore Mountains was uneconomical, only the Soviet Union had no other access to uranium at the time.


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