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Chevron's Titan-ic Bungle | Oil Watchdog

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Chevron's Titan-ic Bungle


Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Chevron's Titan-ic Bungle

    10-15-07 by dugan


    "It’s not what you say but what you do that matters." Oops, Chevron must not have heard its mother say that. Check out this savage AdWeek column by Joan Voight on the reception that Chevron’s new multimillion-dollar ad campaign has gotten (including from OilWatchdog), and why the critics are right. The broadcast ad’s "we’re not corporate titans" line comes in for special dissection: "ad campaigns like this are exactly how corporate titans talk to the masses." Here’s Voight’s conclusion, but it’s worth your time to read the whole thing:

    "Sometimes it’s better to keep your brand profile low
    and actually take actions that reinforce your message rather than
    preach about your new identity.

    "To Chevron: What makes you think you should be the
    teacher? Perhaps a single parent who can’t afford to get her car tuned
    so it uses less gas could teach you a thing or two. In a digital age in
    which the online public has a channel to discuss your every move as
    much as they want, it is a good idea to think twice about grabbing the
    lectern. Expect pushback.

    "Second, if your message is that you are not a pompous
    corporate entity, then don’t act like one. Before starting such a
    reputation-burnishing "educational" effort, ask yourself, "If we were
    an uncaring corporation, what would we do to convince people that we
    aren’t one?" Then don’t do that. Chevron is telling us it is not Big
    Oil, but then acts in precisely the way a greenwashing Big Oil outfit
    would act.

    "All brands, including oil brands, should remember a
    key communications fundamental, since they are now in a give-and-take
    conversation: Honest people don’t tell you they are honest, visionaries
    don’t need to tell you they have vision and caring organizations don’t
    keep telling you how much they care.

    "Expensive ads won’t convince people how fair and
    reasonable you are; such efforts only underscore that you have plenty
    of money to spend on expensive ads."

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