Wednesday, May 5, 2010

(image on the right is one of BP's real advertisements)

Caricature and advertisement have been sitting side by side on the printed pages of magazines and newspapers for centuries. Both forms of print media borrowing from each other to create a rubric for success. Each requiring that a single image be loaded enough to push an agenda for political and social views, as well as product lines. My intentions of utilizing BP’s new logo and advertisement campaign of “beyond petroleum”, which is intended by the company to show off its new efforts in going “green”, is in fact anything but that. That said, while ads suggest their endeavors in alternative and renewable energy, today alone they have another 200,000 gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. While they spent 45 million dollars merely buying out a solar company called Solarex which can power 1,600 homes with renewable energy, they have done very little else. In 2007 they built a gas station with solar panels on the roof, so that consumers can happily and confidently gas up their SUV’s using eco-friendly pumps, three years later the solar panels are still not operational. Advertisements have long been using any means necessary to misinform, and misrepresent, information hoping to drill brand imagery into the consumer’s minds that their products will in fact enhance your way of life. It is funny to think that examples from past advertisements encourage starting your children on soda at an early age, that doctors “recommend” Camel cigarettes, and mothers should drink Blatz beer as a source of nourishment while nursing their children. Perhaps we will one day see the ridiculousness of oil and gas exploration and excavation companies touting a “green” theme. While they spout off about renewable energy sources, oil is spouting off into our water- damaging reefs, wildlife, coastlines…I find it hard to believe that these things are renewable, and the lives lost by the their last two oilrig explosions certainly are not. This project was a way for me to differentiate between the use of “truthful misrepresentation” and just plain superficial and dishonest modes of imagery.

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