Shell falls victim to brandalism
|19 Jul 2012 2:51 BST||Back|
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The Shell brand has been hijacked in a coordinated marketing campaign orchestrated by Greenpeace and the Yes Men.
It is designed to look like a genuine campaign from Shell to educate people about the company’s drilling in the Arctic. The brandalists created a spoof website (Arctic Ready) which imitates Shell’s real site.
The site includes an “Angry Bergs” game and invites people to create their own ads for the campaign by adding their own slogan to a range of Arctic images including icebergs, polar bears and melting ice sheets and then share them on social networks.
This user-generated content has spread on social media sites in what marketing experts have dubbed a social media oil spill. Some of the most popular ads had slogans such as “Birds are like sponges… For oil. Let’s go”, “Some say catastrophe, we say opportunity. Let’s go” and “It’s time somebody took revenge for the Titanic. Let’s go.”
A group of prankster activists, the Yes Men target major corporations who they believe put profit ahead of everything else.
The spoof campaign became a PR disaster for Shell as people believed it was a genuine social media campaign that had backfired.