|Eni's 6-legged dog, on a gas pump at a station on Rome's tangenziale, 2014|
|A bit of romance while filling up|
The story of the logo is well known, but too good not to tell again. In 1952, with Eni's founding just around the corner, the company's CEO-to-be, Enrico Mattei, was convinced that the country needed to be sold on the idea that the oil fields of the Po Valley were sufficient to fuel Italy's industrial boom. To find the right symbol for that effort, he offered 10 million lire as the prize in a competition to design logos for two products: the gasoline known as Supercortemaggiore, after the best known of the oilfields; and Agipgas, the company's gasoline outlets. The jury was composed of some of the most creative artistic minds of the generation: Gio Ponti, Mario Sironi, Mino Maccari and Antonio Baldini.
|An Agip station at Cortemaggiore, mid-1950s|
Indeed, it quickly came to stand for a new type of gas station, high modernist in design and offering restaurant services as well as "powerful Italian petrol."
Ettore Scola--soon to be directing some of Italy's best known films but then writing copy in Agipgas' advertising department--invented the slogan "il cane a sei zampe fedele amico dell'uomo a quattro ruote": the six-legged dog, loyal friend of four-wheeled man. Eni has suggested that the 6 legs represent the sum of the automobile's 4 wheels and the driver's 2 legs.
|The dog inside the square, 1972|
Broggoni's design has been modified at least twice and probably several times. In 1972, the Unimark agency, working on turning the logo into a trademark, put the dog into a yellow square with rounded corners, a solution that required shortening the dog somewhat. In a 1998 or later treatment, the dog came out of the box.