After an embarrassing fiasco in which Shell lost control of its oil rig in an Alaska harbor, the company is about ready to start drilling in the Arctic. Even though the oil giant can evidently barely even manage to move its equipment into place, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is confident that "there will not be an oil spill."
Greenpeace and the Yes Men aren't so sure—they've continued to hammer Shell's Arctic drilling push with what's one of the more brilliant activist campaigns in recent memory. First, they staged a fake drilling launch party that ended hilariously in disaster, then they facilitated a fake legal response, and then launched a fake online ad campaign skewering the company's actual 'Let's Go' mantra.
Folks are still getting fooled by that one—it helps that the Yes Labs and Greenpeace teamed up to make a super-official looking website with a social media-friendly platform that encouraged users to make up their own fake ads. Now, Greenpeace has chosen one of the best user-generated ads and slapped it on a billboard in Houston, right next to Shell's headquarters.
Greenpeace mounted a satirical billboard near Shell’s Houston headquarters featuring a family of polar bears branded with the slogan “You can’t run your SUV on cute. Let’s Go.”See some of the funniest fake Let's Go ads here.
We chose this ad from the over 10,000 user-generated online submissions to ArcticReady.com, a web collaboration with Yes Lab designed to heighten awareness of Shell’s plan to exploit melting sea ice to drill for oil in Alaska. The site has been up for a month, but as the drill window has come closer users have flocked to the site, registering nearly 2 million pageviews in the past week.
The site’s users have turned it into a global phenomenon (the Sydney Morning Herald called it “social media oil spill”), and after watching the traffic balloon to epic proportions, we decided it was time to say, “Thanks.” This Houston billboard was our way of taking such terrific online activism and placing it in the real world, specifically out in front of thousands of Texas commuters traveling on the road to One Shell Plaza.