Greenpeace outsources design for BP

June 10, 2010

So there’s this massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. You heard about it? It’s kind of a big deal, and now President Obama is simultaneously calling for BP CEO Tony Hayward to be fired while working tirelessly to figure out “whose ass to kick.”

BP has enough to worry about these days, and a creative stunt from an activist group like Greenpeace probably isn’t near the top of that list. But I’m sure Greenpeace isn’t trying to get BP’s attention with its Rebrand BP endeavor. BP is asking regular Janes and Joes to create a new logo for the petroleum-based company. Although this stick-it-to-the-man campaign is running in conjunction with the nastiest environmental goat rodeo in the history of ever, Greenpeace is pinning it to BP’s efforts to extract oil from Canadian tar sands.

“BP’s slick green logo doesn’t suit a company that wants to invest in tar sands, the dirtiest oil there currently is,” says the rebranding project’s Web page. “We’re inviting you to design them a new logo that’s more suitable for their dirty business.”

As of this writing, 710 designs have been submitted, all of which you can see on Flickr. (A few are shown in the collage above; “be peeing on you” is, by far, the funniest I’ve seen.)

What does Greenpeace hope to achieve with this newest round of preaching to the choir? Like most of these activist-group stunts or campaigns, they’re designed to start with just that — getting the friendly-to-your-cause crowd fired up — with the hope of generating enough buzz to move far beyond your automatic niche. Like into the rarefied air of the Wall Street Journal. It helps raise awareness of BP actions Greenpeace sees as undesirable (as if those actions needed more awareness right now) and, longer term, exposes the work of Greenpeace — which extends well beyond publicity stunts like this — to more and more people.