Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shell gets punked

I've been seeing posts for a few days about the "Let's Go! Arctic" campaign for Shell and people describing it as social gone bad. Especially due to a "create your own ad" page that lets you put headlines into layouts with pristine arctic images and then post them to Facebook and Twitter.

The implication is that this an ill-conceived marketing campaign created by Shell to celebrate new, exploratory drilling programs in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

Well, I hate to break it to folks but Shell isn't this dumb.

The site arcticready.com, which has Shell branding all over it, is clearly the work of an environmental group looking to make some noise. How do I know? The first clue is in the first paragraph of the home page: "We've all heard about global climate change and the challenges it brings, especially to the most vulnerable among us. For example, 300,000 people already perish each year from climate-change-related causes..."

Essentially what is happening here is brand identity theft.

And while its effects are not as immediate as someone stealing your credit card and going on a shopping spree at Best Buy, this campaign is doing damage to the Shell brand.

It's time for Shell to get out in front of this story before it gets out of hand.

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