Monday, October 9, 2023

Promoting Fossil Fuels in, "Fortnite," Did Not Go Well

Shell is a big ol' fossil fuel company. It makes money off oil and gas--something younger folks worry about as the World's climate turns more and more into an apocalyptic Hellscape. Shell wants to appeal to younger folks who might otherwise buy electric cars or look into alternative fuels so Shell could've spent money diversifying into such tech. They didn't do that, though. They spent a ton of money paying influencers and video-game website IGN to make glowing web videos discussing how fun the Shell-inspired land in Fortnite (which they also put a bunch of money into) is. What's more fun than driving gas guzzlers in a video-game and fueling up at a virtual gas station? I mean, having an inhabitable planet might be more enjoyable, but shut up and take this check to talk about how much you love Shell! Obviously, criticism followed all this.

We Millenials are pretty skeptical and cynical about the World so I'm not surprised GenZ (as they are being called for now) are even more likely to question dumb B.S. like what Shell pulled. Did they expect putting millions of dollars into damage control in a video-game would salvage how bad fossil fuels are looking lately? I'd say this was one of the laziest-yet-most-expensive things an oil company could do, but I remember when British Petroleum (BP) made a big deal about changing their name to, "Beyond Petroleum," as if that made a difference. Masters of PR these companies clearly are not.

The moral of the story here is big oil paying influencers to say nice things about them is not going to solve how bad they look on the international scale. They're the bad guys and unless they put a concentrated effort towards doing things that don't destroy our planet, companies such as Shell and BP will be thought of as at best a necessary evil (I mean, lots of our cars do need gas) or treated with outright disdain.

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