This new BP commercial takes responsibility for the oil spill in the Gulf, but it leaves lots to be desired:
For starters, the best way to win over the American public is not with an English accent. Going back to the 18th century, America, Great Britain, and stuff dumped in the ocean that interrupts commerce have a less-than-stellar relationship. But more than that, it’s clear that the top leaders of BP are not personally invested in the region. They may care a great deal, but they’re from England – it isn’t their home.
In a previous post, I mentioned that the residents of the Gulf who are helping with the cleanup would have made for much better – and more sympathetic – spokespersons. Hayward still could have made an appearance in the commercial, but he shouldn’t have been the focus.
Stylistically, the use of still frames is artistically poignant, but doesn’t make the cleanup effort come to life the way video could.
The bottom line is that BP can say very little right now (outside of, “Hey, the oil stopped gushing!”) to mollify a justifiably upset American public. But their strategy of replying from the highest levels of the company with detached sympathy does them no favors.