BP brand meditation #53,228

by Omatic Design

IT’S BRICK-IN-THE-FOREHEAD obvious that BP has embarked on one of the most tone deaf PR campaigns in memory. Screw the world, mount a sincerity blitz. Everyone has their noses to the window while BP is scrambling around, searching for its pants and assuring us it’s not like that. Baby, I promise I’m gonna make it alright. It’s straight-up, good old fashioned Corporate Fanny Cover 101.  It’s also so very expected, I can barely summon righteous indignation. This is just a stock issue evil oil company, right? Why am I even writing about this?

Perhaps it’s because the almighty BP brand is being called into question. “How will the brand survive this debacle?” ask those in the know. I have another question: is this company too big, too powerful for its compromised brand to ding it in the long run?

I suspect this is an instance of product taking precedence over brand. BP, like hardy survivor Exxon before it, is a heroin commodity brand. At this moment, they’re fresh meat for the anger of the citizenry. But wow, dudes, they deal the best shit.

This could change as the world consumes differently, as we alter our behaviors and feel freedom from product dependence, making conscious choices to spank perceived evildoers right in the share price. But in the meantime I figure: payouts, mea culpas, corporate fines, excuses, spittle flying in D.C., some years of lower profits, a decade of pollution, dwindling press coverage, shoulder shrugging and then the seeping forgetfulness of a world who still needs its dealers.