Green is for Sissies

November 25th, 2008

Green is for sissies. That statement – the lead headline of the Business Section in last week’s Sunday  New York Times – all but sums up ExxonMobil’s long-term business strategy and brutally honest marketing approach. Even as oil reserves become harder to find, access becomes more strictly controlled, and global warming concerns are top of mind, Exxon remains unapologetically wed to the oil and gas.

Oil companies have been favorite targets of environmental activists over the years and are embroiled in the heat of the debate over global warming. In response, BP, Shell, and Chevron have all sought recently to reinvent their brand through investments in solar, wind, and geothermal, respectively. These investments suggest a forward-looking commitment toward independence from oil. In contrast, Exxon has clung steadfast to oil and gas production, demand for which it believes will increase nearly one third by 2030.

Clearly, Exxon is bucking the trend, and it remains to be seen whether this is smart marketing because they are differentiating themselves, or whether it just atrocious PR brought about by being stubborn. We’re betting on the latter…

Posted Under: Branding, Public Relations
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