One Big Agency created this handy ‘Live with it!’ app. But as you quickly find out, it’s not made in collaboration with Shell, but with Friends of the Earth (or: Milieudefensie). In fact, it’s not even an app; the URL at the end leads you to ‘Worse than bad.’ The locals of the Niger Delta can use the fictional app to earn Shell points (that can be exchanged for “helpful survival gear”) by being the first to spot oil spills. The same goes for reporting contaminated water. The app also indicates where the locals can find alternative water sources and it maps gas flares and pipelines. It will be interesting to see what Shell will do against this spoof. Will they act against it – “David Ruse is not our Chief Facade Officer – we have someone else for that!” Or will they sit still until the storm is over? Probably (and wisely) the latter. In any case, the spoof made us think of Chevron’s ‘We Agree’ campaign that was hijacked in 2010; immediately after the release ‘The Yes Men’ launched their own ‘We Agree’ campaign. Their spoof used phrases like “Oil companies should clean up their messes,” instead of Chevron’s copy saying “The world needs more than oil.” One Big Agency’s app also reminded us of this column on Amsterdam Ad Blog (“Shell and clean don’t match in advertising”). It’s good to see that oil companies cannot get away anymore with trying to come across as environmentally constructive – let alone friendly.
Update (May 25th 2012): A follow up film, again with David Ruse, the Chief Facade Officer: http://youtu.be/hjvm-emeK20