Imitation, but not flattery

Growing up with a younger sister, I always felt strangely protective over my supposed sense of individualism – skinny jeans, wooly vintage jumpers and even drawing pencils and yoyo’s fell under the realm of “their mine… stop copying” (despite Londoners everywhere doing likewise). Obviously this now strikes me as ironic, not only because, as sisters, Fiona and I are more similar than we like to admit, but also because my daily job involves me establishing “consumer segmentations/audience profiles” (i.e. stereotyping), where uniqueness (that dreaded anomaly) are largely ignored or fretted over. Nevertheless, my mother’s words of reason/argument-diffusion still remain poignant – “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, something which Greenpeace chose to ignore when they decided to attack Shell.

As part of their commitment to tackling Climate Change and avenge Mother Nature, Greenpeace have created a new website called articready. Ultimately, nothing new there, but this website is in fact a spoof, mirroring Shell’s own site design and creative but with iceberg warts and arctic zits on show – the king of all unflattering close-ups. The website then invites users to add captions to mark Shell’s efforts to drill into Arctic, and unsurprisingly the company’s slogan “Let’s go” becomes the front to various witty, sarcastic and angry eco-friendly slander. My favourite of these are on show below.

I suppose what I really like about this response by Greenpeace is just how confrontational it is. It cleverly uses the internet as the tool to traumatise, troll and even patronise the multi-national oil guzzler. However, this digital front is a modern eco effort – padlocks on trees and egging replaced by a witty URL display. Viral and subtly vindictive (at least from Shell’s perspective), Greenpeace tap into social’s affinity with shock, surprise and share to paint Shell as the web’s big, bad and slightly foolish villain. Woe betide the team’s next victim as green sees red.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s