Coming Clean, Chevron Launches “We Agree” Ad Campaign

In an attempt to establish common ground, the oil giant will soon find out if honesty really is the best policy

Coming Clean, Chevron Launches “We Agree” Ad Campaign
Do you agree with Chevron's slippery ad approach?

It’s always been a touchy subject, but the oil industry’s image hit an all time low following BP’s Gulf spill this past summer. Witnessing how well they dealt with the crisis has inspired other oil companies to rethink their PR strategies.

Chevron Corporation unveiled their “We Agree” campaign on Monday, which addresses controversial energy issues on a more personal level. "We want the world to know that we're just like you and me," said Chevron Vice Chairman George L. Kirkland. He goes on to admit, "We've got problems and challenges, and we too make mistakes, but we're telling truths no one usually tells.”

A series of print and online ads, as well as 30-second YouTube commercials, have already been posted; the oil tycoon even devoted a section of their website to the campaign. The controversial slogans, such as “It's Time Oil Companies Get Behind The Development Of Renewable Energy” and “Oil Companies Should Fix The Problems They Create,” are all followed by the statement “We Agree" in bold red type.

Taking the honest approach may be a slippery gamble but at least it’s one that has not been previously attempted. New York-based ad agency, McGarryBowen, was tasked with the rebranding initiative.

"We were asked to show an agreeable, involved, of-the-people face for Chevron, and we think we came up with some really great ways of doing that," said Gordon Bowen, Chief Creative Officer of McGarryBowen. "But what’s unique and different here is the honesty. We've never been able to do this before."

The campaign has already been spoofed by environmentalists posing as Chevron officials in fake new releases and websites. Morgan Crinklaw, a spokesman for Chevron, explained, “We expected something like this would be done…there are activist groups whose sole focus is attacking Chevron and not engaging in rational conversations on energy issues.”

Spoof or no spoof, only time will tell if the “everyday people” buy in to Chevron’s sincere campaign, however we do agree the strategy is worth spilling over.