ExxonMobil is afraid of cables

Another inglorious example of weird fossil-fuel industry campaigns against electric vehicles is provided by ExxonMobil. In an advert for gasoline, the US oil company draws a dystopian scenario in which people are burdened with vast amounts of cables in everyday life. EVs are only indirectly addressed, but the message is clear: combustion engines mean freedom.

Specifically, the campaign was created for the Exxon brand ‘Mobil 1’, which is known for synthetic motor oil. Under the title “Breaking Free”, (US) consumers are asked to break free from their wired devices “and celebrate the love of driving”, as the portal AutoUA puts it. Although mobile devices such as smartphones or laptops are primarily on display, the visual language is clear.

The two-minute commercial suggests that you feel a sense of freedom when you get rid of these devices and especially the cables – by driving an internal combustion car with Mobil 1 engine oil. The slogan of the commercial: “Disconnecting. Feels like breaking free. For the love of driving.”

Mobil 1 justifies the message with a statement saying that “more than half of Americans say that some of life’s best moments take place in the car – from the excitement of getting a driver’s licence, to family road trips, to singing along to music as the miles roll by”. While it is an emotional statement, it also has nothing to do with petrol or engine oil, but also works just as well in an electric car. Also a petrol pump isn’t exactly wireless either.


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