From the MK Promotion Archives: Tigerino – the First Scratch-Off Game Card
Marden-Kane originated the first scratch-off game card with Tigerino. The Tigerino promotion was designed for Humble Oil’s ESSO and ENCO gas stations in 1966, to capitalize on the already popular “Put a Tiger in Your Tank” ad campaign. The idea was simple: if you purchased gas you could get a game card. Every game was a winner, but some game cards awarded big cash prizes depending on the letters revealed. You can read more about how the game worked here.
The first Tigerino scratch-off game cards debuted in Buffalo, New York. Gas sales sky-rocketed as a result of the game, so the game was rolled out to all ESSO and ENCO stations. Newspaper ads and billboards for the game could be found everywhere.
The first scratch-off game cards employed existing printing technology that used water-soluble ink to cover the underlying winning message. Customers used wet tissues to rub the ink off to reveal if they were a winner. But gas station attendants complained about all the trash from used tissues people left lying around the station, so they needed a better solution.
Dick Kane, a Marden-Kane founder, worked with a printer to develop a better solution than the water-soluble ink. After some tests, a latex covering which could be scratched off was put on the game cards over the winning message, and the scratch-off game card was born. Most lotteries and instant win games in the US and around the world now use this technology on printed game tickets.
Different variations of the ESSO/ENCO Tigerino game ran from 1966 – 1969. Over 8 billion game cards were in circulation over that period. The original game cards themselves are collector’s items and can be found on ebay for a price.
Marden-Kane has been providing new solutions for client for over 60 years — like the very first scratch off game cards. If you are looking for a promotion partner to come to the table with new ideas, contact us. We can help!
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