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Shell: Let’s Go!

turn the power on, lets melt some ice

A week or so ago you might have noticed me on twitter wondering if this social media campaign was for real or a spoof by anti-Shell forces: an art gallery apparently set up by Shell with photos of the arctic for members of the public to caption.

Last night someone in my feed RT-ed a tweet from ShellisPrepared, titled ‘Social Media Team’ with the Shell logo.  Social Media Team started with this:

@thisjordanbrown Please don’t share offensive ads. We’re working to remove them. #shell #arcticready

As people jumped on the band wagon, RTing more ads, Social Media Team escalated to this:

Okay, I can’t take this anymore. NAMES OF ALL RT’ERS ARE GOING TO #SHELLLEGAL. Walking there now.

This caused major jollility, with punters trolling the Social Media Team.  A careful reading of Social’s tweets started to drop hints that this is a spoof account:

Social Media Team ‏@ShellisPrepared
Wow, am I the only person in this office without a gold Rolex?

Then Greenpeace engaged their foe:

Greenpeace USA ‏@greenpeaceusa
Houston residents agree, you can’t run your SUV on ‘cute’

#savethearctic #tellshell #arcticready pic.twitter.com/utMIEZpx
Social Media Team ‏@ShellisPrepared
Social Media Team ‏@ShellisPrepared
nvm, *nigeria* problem. wrong country. apparently we ruined their ocean or something: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-shell-nigeria-fine-idUSBRE86G0X020120717
People in my newsfeed were laughing about Qantas fail well before this point, and cracking jokes about someone being out of a job.
Social Media Team ‏@ShellisPrepared
Sooooo if anyone is hiring… I may be needing a new job…
Social Media Team ‏@ShellisPrepared
Sorry about that last tweet! I brought my cat to work today and he walked across the keyboard.
Social Media Team ‏@ShellisPrepared
I have seven cats at home (and one at work) that rely on my paycheck.

It turns out that the brilliant art gallery social media stunt isn’t another Qantas- and Gloria Jeans-type social media fail, but is actually run by Greenpeace and the Yes Men.

A couple of videos have gone viral, made by the same geniuses behind #Shellfail.

Here’s the inside story from Greenpeace themselves.

Here’s the story written up in The Age.

In case you were wondering: I’ve never belonged to a political party but when I was 5 years old I went to Lake Pedder with my step-father while the area was being flooded, to see if animals were trapped on the islands during the flooding. That kind of thing gets deep down inside you.

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Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. Great post, nice to see someone else has picked up on the confusion social media can cause, especially when people get quite passionate about a subject, like Arctic drilling. I’ve covered this on my blog, too, if you are interested: keepingcoolblog.net


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