I’ve been driving through Minnesota regularly for work, and a new brand of gas station has been springing up. Here it is:
My first reaction was: are they filming a movie around here? The design is too crisp, the name too generic, the sudden appearance too spontaneous for this to be real. It’s like a brand right out of a movie.
In fact, that movie might just be 1984. Remember, Victory Cigarettes, Victory Coffee, and Victory Gin were ways to intoxicate the citizens into submission — the prominent, solid “V” needs little else to evoke a boot stamping on a human face forever. If I didn’t know better, I’d even wager there’s a degree of social commentary, a little reflection on America contentedly suckling at the petroleum industry’s teat: ‘V for Vandura‘ opening your eyes to what’s been around you the whole time. Turns out, it’s just a cheap gas brand.
This brand of gasoline comes courtesy of Adium Oil Company, a Minnesota-based oil distributor, so I guess a heaping helping of Minnesota Nice can counteract some of the authoritarian overtones. Sociopaths in Guy Fawkes masks can rest easy: this V isn’t for anything more suspicious than low-priced gasoline. Advantage Brands Ltd is responsible for the branding itself, and as a typographical fan, I really love the fact that they make available print-quality versions of their logos right on the website.
See, that’s not so bad, right? Makes me downright nostalgic for those happy-dappy days of Oceania’s iron-fist rule. Advantage Brands is really missing out by not expanding their reach into other gas-station necessities like cigarettes and booze. I would totally fill my tank at a Victory-brand gas station if it means I could pick up a pack of Victory Cigarettes and a liter of Victory Gin to set on my bookshelf of dystopian novels. There’s only one problem, though: Victory Cigarettes are already a real thing. Maybe I’m just too literary to be allowed to shop at gas stations. I can’t imagine, for as universal as 1984 imagery is, that nobody in the marketing department thought using ‘victory’ as a brand name would draw those connections.