Prompted by the BP rig explosion and the ensuing spill, BP has come under heavy social media attack:
- Attacked on Facebook by a boycott movement called “Boycott BP,” urging a worldwide boycott of all BP brands and services
- An anonymously managed Twitter account – BP Public Relations (@BPGlobalPR) – that makes glib comments, purportedly on BP’s behalf
- YouTube users uploading a steady stream of videos – some better than others – that use humor to express their anger at the disastrous situation
- At the BP station on Houston and Lafayette in New York City a flash mob was arranged through Facebook
- A US-based web design company launched an “Oil Spill Firefox Plugin” which blacks out all web mentions of BP with oil spill blobs
And now Greenpeace, initiated a “Rebrand the BP Logo” contest. Greenpeace asked its supporters to “ . . . create a logo for BP which shows that the company is not ‘beyond petroleum’ – they’re up to their necks in tar sands and deepwater drilling.”
And what did Greenpeace say they would do with the winning redesign:
“The winning logo will be used by us in innovative and exciting ways as part of our international campaign against the oil company.” (1)
This campaign will add massive damage to the BP corporate image in the short term. More importantly still, the damage will impact the company over the long term, long after the last gallon of oil is scooped up, long after the last pelican is cleaned and released, and long after all compensation is awarded, no matter how much more “green” that energy company attempts to become. That injury to the future BP corporate image will endure because of the way Greenpeace collected the contest entries.
Greenpeace asked the contest entrants to submit their entries to a photo group on Flickr, the social photo and image sharing site. When the contest ended, there were approximately 1,900 entries in the two Flickr.com photo groups. Also at that time, there had been about 650,000 views of the logo rebrands entered. These Flickr groups will live on long after the contest have ended, drawing page views and damaging BPs image for years to come.
Even if Greenpeace did remove these logo rebrand entries from Flickr they will continue to live indefinitely on the larger social web, since the images have already been widely adopted and copied on other websites.
Since these images will live on, it will be very difficult for BP to survive the perpetual corporate image impact.
(1) Culture jamming
Short URL & Title:
Rebrand attack — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/nqa
If you enjoyed this article, please take 5 seconds to share it on your social network. Thanks!
Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland View full profile