An Oily Jerk-Off

That’s pretty much the only way I can describe the 2:30 Chevron commercial that premiered tonight on 60 Minutes. Click on the story and you can watch the spot.
chevron-untappedenergy07.jpg
Ad Age has more of a breakdown:

The commercial shows a montage filmed in 13 countries, as a voiceover from Campbell Scott (son of actor George C. Scott) tells the audience about the debate over oil, energy and the environment. “It is the story of our time and it is definitive and it’s all encompassing. . . . Make no mistake. It isn’t just about oil companies. This is about you and me and the undeniable truth that at this moment there are 6.5 billion people on this planet, and by year’s end, there will be another 3 million more and every one of us will need energy to live. Where will it come from?”
The commercial continues, showing snippets of Chevron’s 58,000 “citizens of the world,” whom Mr. Scott explains are “husbands and wives and part-time poets” and ultimately “the greatest source of energy in the world.”

Wow. Is this spot made for Wall Street? Because I can’t imagine what type of people this kind of spot works on. Chevron’s in the oil business and they’re not in a rush to get out of it. That’s fine. I dropped $45 on gas at the Chevron around the corner from my house yesterday, and it’s not like I find these guys any better or worse than other oil companies. So why do they need campaigns like this to, uh, make a big stink about themselves? Over at the Huffington Post, Jamie Court provides a bit of a counterpoint:

Chevron tries to present itself not as profit-driven oil machine but a human organization striving to save our planet. Obscured, of course, are little facts like the company’s war against California’s pioneering alternative energy development fund (Prop 87), its refusal to cleanup the oily mess its made in the Amazon, and its refusal to take pragmatic steps to deploy ethanol at its service stations. Let alone the corporation’s well-documented supply manipulation to drive up gasoline prices on us other human beings.

I wonder how much fossil fuel was burned by the creative team responsible for this as they criss-crossed the globe filming this masturbatory corporate brand-polishing monstrosity. And, perhaps they filmed in Burma.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com HighJive

    Hmmm. Dow hyped “The Human Element.” BP is running an inane campaign featuring real humans talking about energy concerns. Now Chevron touts “Human Energy.” These companies sure seem to spend a lot of time trying to convince us of their humanity. Wonder why that is.

  • http://txadv.blogspot.com David

    This is exactly why people loathe advertising.
    I wish I was a stockholder in those oil companies!

  • Jason

    Like BP spending .04% of their expenditures on alternative energy and now they are suddenly the ‘Green’ leaders. It’s called Greenwashing.
    When this trend passes, let’s see who stands by their claims. As for Dow and the ‘Human Element’…hello, Napalm, DDT, PCB’S?

  • http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com HighJive

    when these companies use the term green, they’re actually referring to money.

  • nancy

    Dear Oil Companies,
    I know you are seen as the big bad evil doers in society because of your profit driven appearance. I also heard that you put out some kind of long commercial on 60 minutes, which I didn’t watch cuz i rarely turn on the TV anymore.
    Many people think you aren’t that sincere. having not seen or heard the real thing, I cant say. I get angry at your pricing strategies and other tactics, but then i thought no one could be all bad. So what is good about you?
    I wondered what could I actually thank you for. The price of gas? Well, not really, but then again I have a pretty efficient engine in my car so when i wanted to SEE America and not just flyover America, it didn’t cost me huge sums to enjoy a 5 hour drive in my fun car=25 bucks. I really should be more perturbed about some of the hotel rates I had to pay for taking a 10 hour rest and not even using the shower. What I am really thankful for is one of the stations you have set up in the most lonliest places outwest in America, especially when my orange light went on next to the E on the guage. Yea even that cliché caught up with me. And thank you for some of the excellent people who run the stations who gave me directions that i could understand. I mean some people think driving is all the same, but it’s not, nor is direction giving. Again, some of these owners and operators made my trip somehow more interesting because they told me a tip or two about something. Of course, there were times that I didn’t even buy gas from you, and you provided me with a clean and safe place to go the bathroom. HUGE relief.
    Let’s see, there were stations that kept their windshield cleaning stuff stocked full which was really a godsend in Kansas and Colorado. It should be a given, but it’s not. The guy in Montana who helped me with the tire pressure gauge, even a customer who stopped to remind me of something on my car that might need attending to. Then, the clerk in Maine, too, who was interested in me cause I had Hoosier plates.
    If you had recycling bins to toss away my aluminum cans when i stop along the highway, that would be great. I tell you, I’ve used your trashbins loads of times to get rid of the garbage in my car and if you did have can bins– just maybe I wouldn’t see so many cans littering the roadsides when i take walks. But that again is questionable, because sometimes we humans are just slobs anyway, or is it that we are afraid to be seen tossing a beer can away from our car when cameras are monitoring the stations.
    Funny what I find human about you, is actually the humans.