In this morning’s New York Times, Elliott got down to dissecting the Olympic broadcast spots. Elliott was not impressed. No, not at all. The august journalist noted that:
“-too many commercials relied on predictable images to evoke China for Western consumers: dragons, pandas, ninjas, the Great Wall and homages to (or parodies of) “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
After knocking the blatant use of stereotypes, the august journalist moves onto to ripping work from Visa to McDonald’s. It’s not that a I disagree. Those McDonald’s spots comparing burgers to medals were pretty wretched, but by far, the most poorly planned spots were those for Exxon. Here’s Stuart again:
“Employees of Exxon Mobil fight malaria. And they help schoolchildren learn math and science. When did the company sell its oil and gas holdings and become a philanthropic organization?”
Oh, Elliott how sort of right you are! Exxon Mobil, which is a Havas account, recently clocked record profits this past fourth quarter, while
Americans stood dumbstruck by the gas pump. Exxon had a chance to address millions of American’s concerns directly and as honestly as a gas company possibly can. Instead, they went with the philanthropic angle that takes place on the shores of a distant country, Africa.
When you’re shelling out $50 per a tank, the fight against malaria takes a back seat to more daily concerns. While it’s fair game that Exxon makes money off a high global price tag, their Olympics broadcast slots were a chance for them to say, “Hey, we get we’re making out like bandits, but here’s what we’re doing on your local home front.” Not Africa, but in Georgia’s, Tennessee’s, Philadelphia’s and Wisconsin’s backyard. Where were the planners on this one. Um, hello… playgrounds? Helping to organize car pools? Donating gas to those in need like small town emergency units? Anyone? Anyone? Hearts and minds Exxon. Hearts and minds.