Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Combatting disaster.

BP, British Petroleum, has had a rough stretch over the last six to eight decades. A long record of criminal malfeasance, neglect for the safety of its workers accented with a soupcon of ecological catastrophe.

What can advertising do in such a situation. Clearly BP can not continue its much vaunted "Beyond Petroleum" campaign. A claim of green would bring rebuke and/or lawsuits.

Because I care, here's an idea I had.

Go back to the great "Laugh-In" TV show from the late 60s and reintroduce (with a twist!) one of their catch phrases. That is, "You bet your sweet bippy we did."

Only have it read like "You bet your sweet BP we did" and have it accompanied by a faintly hysterical laugh track.

VO: Last year, 20 workers died in an explosion in our Houston refinery. Who was responsible for ignoring OSHA regulations and the most rudimentary safety provisions? You bet your sweet BP we are!

VO: Just recently we sullied one of the most delicate ecological regions on earth, spilling oil over an area more than four times the size of Rhode Island. Who created this wondrous disaster? You bet your sweet BP we did.

Over time, this phrase would catch on. People who think of BP as a company of honesty and humility not to mention humor.

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