It’s not often that an iPhone app elicits disgust, but this is no ordinary iPhone app.
The video above promotes a new app supposedly from Shell, the oil company, aimed at helping the people of the Niger Delta, one of the company’s big drilling areas. The app supposedly rewards residents with “helpful survival gear” for reporting a spill.
If they find their water is polluted, the app points them to another unpolluted source a mere 237 miles away. There’s also a feature that lets users map out an escape route by walking on Shell’s pipelines, a.k.a. “The Pipeline Express.”
This can’t be for real, can it?
Actually, no. The ad, which features actor David Rasche of Sledge Hammer! fame, is actually a satire from Worse Than Bad, a campaign by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie that aims to hold Shell accountable for its “reckless pollution in the Niger Delta.”
Though the subject matter is dead serious, Worse Than Bad’s takedown of greenwashing is dead on — from the lively African music to the self-congratulatory tone, not to mention the name of the app itself.
Shell actually does have an iPhone app, but it’s not aimed at ordinary citizens. Instead, the target is investors.
Are satirical protests like this effective? Let us know your take in the comments.