BP Cleans Up (Its Image)


The Story

After the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum tried to repair its reputation, partly with a TV commercial.  In this video, you'll see how viewers responded to the message.

BP Media Curves 

Watch the full video at the source: http://mediacurves.com/Politics/BP%20Commercial/

Discussion Starters

  • What principles of persuasive communication (discussed in Chapter 12 ) does BP use in this message?
  • In your opinion, is this an effective message? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think the viewers reacted positively overall?
  • At what points in the video do you see a significant change in viewer opinion? Why do you think people change their perception at these points?  

Assignment Ideas

  • Write a memo to BP's VP, Advertising, with your analysis of the commercial, based on persuasive communication principles.  What works in the commercial?  What doesn't?
  • Draft a script for a new commercial.  How would you communicate BP's message about the oil spill and their commitment going forward?
  • Research other PR missteps by BP during this crisis situation.  As a communication consultant, write a memo to Tony Hayward with your advice: following the spill, what could he and the rest of the organization have done differently to maintain the company's reputation?