Exxon Shows Us a World Without Engineers in BBDO Campaign

By Patrick Coffee 

It’s been more than four years since BBDO swiped the global creative Exxon account from McCann. At the time, the company was experience some unique challenges, and much of the subsequent work created by the energy giant’s agency flew under the trade radar.

The most recent iteration of the “Be an Engineer” campaign, however, was brought to our attention today. It began airing a couple of weeks ago, and it’s related in a way to September’s “What’s the Matter With Owen” ads in which a young developer struggles to tell family and friends what he does in his fancy new job.

The first spot “Watch” reminds us that we wouldn’t be able to surf the channels, “Netflix and chill” or talk shit on Twitch if not for the inspirational work of Exxon’s engineers.


You know what else we wouldn’t have without those guys? Texting.

That was fun.

The next three spots move away from the “two teens lamenting how lame their lives are without tech” formula. In “Run,” BBDO takes on one of the most annoying wearable trends: automatic “I ran X miles today” tweets/status updates.

On a more basic level, there’s the classic helmet. (Created by an engineer.)

Finally, engineers helped create the automated things that we rely upon every day to take us from place to place.

We’re too far gone to consider entering the field, but this campaign did a good job of keeping the focus away from the things most people think of when they hear the name Exxon.

We don’t currently have full credits, but BBDO New York did creative with Radical Media handling production, PULL on original music, Friendshop! covering editorial and Heard City on audio post production.