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A Bold Campaign

When attempting to change the status quo there are many tactics one can use.

Sometimes one can get lucky and find success in convincing the status quo maintainer using sound logic and rationale.

But sometimes what is really needed is a biased, slanted, aggressive campaign to not only throw the status quo maintainer into a state of panic, but to try to knock some sense into them as well.

This is what two groups, Oil Change International and The Other 98%, did late last year, rolling out a bold campaign taking on the oil industry.

“Exxon hates your children” is the title of the first ad making its way around the internet, with hopes of television space. The organizations need to raise funds for television slots, but they’re working on it. “We all know the climate crisis will rip [your children’s] world apart, but we don’t care, because it’ll make us rich,” says the fake Exxon executive in the ad. The ad has gotten a lot of attention since its posting, including from Exxon, which called the ad “offensive.” (Shocking.)

The ad has two objectives: one, to draw attention to tax subsidies that go to profitable oil companies and attempt to influence the current fiscal debate; the other, which is more abstract in its plans and methods, is to marginalize fossil fuel companies and strip their “social license.”

Demonization of oil companies is nothing new, but as the science gets more frightening and fossil fuel companies continue to ramp up their extraction of carbon fuels, climate groups are attempting to back these companies into a corner in new ways.

While one will generally win over more flies with honey than vinegar, there is certainly a time and place for aggressive methods in persuasion.

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