Committed to the Gulf, Committed to America -BP Oil Spill Update

Just over two years ago, a tragic oil spill happened on U.S. territory. This disaster was and still is said to be the worst oil spill in history. It was in the Gulf of Mexico, near Louisiana and Mississippi and killed excessively large amounts of wildlife, devastated land, beaches, and obviously, water. While it would have been easy for BP to take the blame, pay a hefty fine, and keep on drilling as though nothing happened, they decided to take responsibility for their actions. They caused the problem, now they were going to have to fix it. Last month BP issued a commercial that reminded Americans just how hard working they were. Titled “Committed to the Gulf, Committed to America”, Fred Lemond, BP’s Operations Manager, stands on a balcony overlooking the beautiful clean shores of the Gulf of Mexico and updates the viewers by informing them that due to their hard work, all the beaches are as beautiful as ever and cleaned up. Words flash on the screen encouraging viewers that “many areas are reporting their best tourism season in years”. While speaking about the learning experience this was for BP he suggests that new safety measures are in place allowing us to assume that disasters of this multitude would be less common. Lemond then speaks of the second part of the title of this ad, being “Committed to America”. A scene showing gender diversity turns to a statistic showing that BP supports close to 250,000 American jobs. He then states that BP’s commitment to America has never been stronger.
This public relations campaign was meant to save the face of the company. By speaking of the achievements they have made since the spill and speaking of how they supply so many American jobs, they are trying to eliminate the negative image this had on them one of the leading oil industries in not just America, but the world. Our reading states on page twelve that a campaign that is in the penetration stage of activation “occurs not simply when the change is put into practice but when others begin hearing about it, speaking favorably about it, and even attempting to emulate it.” With this campaign, BP is doing just this. They are wanting the viewers to see that the change has been put in place, things are getting better. They want people to speak favorably of them, not just in their eagerness and willingness to fix the situation, but on the number of jobs that, in a suffering economy, they are providing to Americans. I feel as though Americans will and have been very responsive in a positive manner to this message. I know from personal experience that my mother claims she will never buy a gallon of gas from BP again, yet after seeing that they are taking full responsibility and making significant improvements in a horrific situation, I do and will continue to support this company by purchasing my significantly large amounts of fuel from them.

Kelsey Bates

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