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Racing personality Andy Crantelli made auto-racing fans out of enthusiastic B-School students yesterday by speaking to the Marketing Club.
Granatelli. "the hard-luck kid of Indianapolis." described his enormously successful Triangle marketing technique consisting of personality, product, and the STP name-which has increased the sales of his STP Corporation from $9 million to $52 million since he became its president six years ago.
Granatelli is the well-known owner of the world's largest and most-publicized racing team-a crew that won this year'sIndy 500 with Mario Andretti in the lead car.
After showing "The Racer's Edge." a film about the "continuing love story of the auto in America," Granatelli commented on why he had kissed Andretti after his victory.
"What else could I do and still be an Italian?" asked Granatelli. "I like to kiss people. After the meeting today, if you get in line, I'll kiss all of you. I suppose you think I like Mario because he's Italian, but that's not true. I like him because I'm Italian," he said.
A Familiar Face
Granatelli's face is familiar to TV viewers who have seen his STP commercial. While he claimed to have greater personal television recognition than any other public figure except for recent American presidents and vice-presidents, he said his product's success has not been due entirely to his personal endorsement.
"I put my wife on the air, and sales jumped from 30 to 11 million." he said.
The use of STP decals has been equally spectacular in promoting his product, a fuel additive. Twenty million people stick the decals to their windows, he said, because "maybe it's a legal way of saying Do you want to drag? among the nation's youth-people from two to 60."
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