Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bad Adverts - BP's Olympian Carbon Footprint

A beach?


I was going to write something the other week about the crappy sponsorship ad - I forget the culprit: some car-related product bigging up its association with F1 - but this one really takes the biscuit. (And shits on it.)

The thing is, sponsorship is sponsorship: it's between you and your business partners. You broker a mutually beneficial deal between a brand and an event or a brand and a person or a brand and an initiative, or whatever, and then you sit back and watch the magic happen.

You don't commission a hangarful of billboard campaigns to back it up.

I mean, obviously you do, because that seems to be what everyone does, but it's a bit crass isn't it? Sort of like hiring advertising space to tell everyone it's your birthday, because you're worried not enough people like or care about you enough to take note of the alert on Facebook.

It's bad enough when the ad basically says:
"Hey! Guys! Look what we did! Look what our guys did! This is awesome, huh? Imagine what this will do for the way you guys perceive our brand! I know, right?"
But this one actually says:

"We, British Petroleum - the oil and gas company most [in]famous (in recent years) for despoiling a massive ecosystem and by extension numerous large areas of outstanding natural beauty as a result of our (and by extension your) insatiable and gluttonous thirst for our planet's finite natural resources - are closely associated with an international competition to celebrate the physical capabilities of humankind via the media of sports; so much so, in fact, that we've extended the mixed metaphor to further embrace modish environmentalism - a school of thought which couldn't possibly be more directly opposed to our values, mission, and practice if we'd paid Nazi doctors to engineer it as such - and will now effectively sit here whistling with our hands in our pockets hoping you, our oil-guzzling, wind-breaking, seal-clubbing public have memories as short as the goldfish (or whatever they were) whose habitats' asses we went all Apocalyptica on a few seasons past: which is pretty damn short, because they're all dead. ENDS."

So, there won't be any carbon footprints at the London 2012 games.

But there might be some oily footprints over the conscience of everybody involved.

And there might be a shitload of unsustainable stadia in a part of London nobody will ever want to go to again, if indeed they can ever manage to get there in the first place - which is pretty damn difficult on a weekday afternoon, let alone the height of tourist season in the glut of a manic internationalist spectacle of PC body-fascism, empty gestures of cultural might and global corporate trash.

I don't care to learn the name of the heptathlete on the billboard up there because such things really don't interest me, but I hope the halo of BP-branded toxic illuminatum that follows her around everywhere she runs, jumps, swims or flings a spear, makes it all the easier for snipers to pick her off like the fly on the stool of humanity she is when people start caring enough about such things to become partisan to a civilisation that - on the basis of this bad-on-every-level advert - is entirely geared toward emulating cancer on a planetary scale.

Or, you know, just get their marker pens out and draw oily seals on whatever bit of Dover Beach that is...
"Where ignorant armies clash by night..."
Yours in manufactured rage,

A. Velky

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