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Chevron Adopts “Authentic Street” Veneer to Keep Selling Itself

Chevron Engages in an "Authentic" "Street Aesthetic" PR Campaign to make itself look good

Irregular Times’ inbox this morning features not one but four copies of a press release from oil giant Chevron, eager to build hype for its new advertising campaign:

Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) has announced a new global advertising campaign aimed at showing Chevron as a “real people” corporation…

Each print ad is designed with an authentic pop-culture street-art aesthetic, and features a sincere slogan followed by a big red “We Agree” stamp, the signature of Chevron executives, and the Chevron logo.

“Chevron is making a clean break from the past by taking direct responsibility for our own actions,” said Rhonda Zygocki, Chevron vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs.

“We were asked to show an agreeable, involved, of-the-people face for Chevron, and we think we came up with some really great ways of doing that,” said Gordon Bowen, Chief Creative Officer of McGarryBowen. “But what’s unique and different here is the honesty. We’ve never been able to do this before.”

“We’re telling truths no one usually tells,” said Zygocki. “We’re changing the way the whole industry speaks.”

Wow! It’s honest! It’s revolutionary! It’s breaking new ground! It’s…

It’s an ad campaign using standard stock photographs with the standard distribution of 2/3 white-skinned and 1/3 brown-skinned people, featuring fake-stonewashed text. The ads direct the public and members of the press to a webpage on which Chevron calls Ecuadorians liars for complaining about massive Chevron toxic spills in the Amazon rainforest, and slaps the label “Reducing Emissions” on its plan to keep right on increasing its CO2 output.

This is exactly what Chevron tried in 2008. It didn’t work then, either.

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