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Big Oil’s Next Genius Moves to Save the Planet

Posted by John Donovan 31 August 2023

Well, aren’t we in for a treat!

It seems the world’s most environmentally-conscious buddies, our friendly neighbourhood oil giants like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies, are diving deep into the influencer market. Because when you think “innovation in renewable energy,” you naturally think: “Instagram and TikTok!”

AFP has sniffed out a trend where icons of video game walkthroughs, doggo videos, and #VacationGoals are suddenly pivoting to plug gas stations and fuel rewards cards. Because, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a behind-the-scenes look at your favourite influencer’s exhilarating journey to the pump?

And DeSmog? Oh, they had an even juicier tidbit. More than 100 influencers are now on this eco-friendly bandwagon, including a charming Filipina grandma who, until recently, was just sharing her family’s antics. But who needs cute grandkids when you can have the glossy sheen of oil?

So why this sudden courtship of Gen Z and Millennial influencers? The logic, according to analysts cited by AFP, is crystal clear. With the youth nowadays all obsessed with this minor inconvenience called ‘global warming’, Big Oil’s image has taken a teeny-tiny hit. Hence, they’re out here trying to build ‘social capital’. Because nothing says “We care about the planet” quite like a sponsored post sandwiched between a makeup tutorial and a dance challenge.

When cornered for their ingenious marketing tactics, ExxonMobil’s spokesperson had this enlightening input: “ExxonMobil, like many companies, works with influencers to educate consumers about the full benefits of our fuel rewards program.” Well, colour us educated!

And Shell? Ever the mysterious one, their unnamed spokesperson mentioned promoting their “low-carbon products” on social media, though oddly seemed to forget to give examples. A minor oversight, I’m sure.

Any objections or corrections, Big Oil? We’re all ears. Or should we check TikTok?

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