Green Crisis: Shell Wooing Millennials with Pop Stars

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Guardian author Graham Readfearn is worried green Millennials will fall for a bunch of big oil PR tricks.

Hey millennials, don’t fall for Shell’s pop star PR

Graham Readfearn

Shell is lining up superstars to sing in videos about solar panels, hydrogen cars, clean cooking stoves and lights powered by a bag of rocks and gravity

If you’re a millennial, the global oil and gas company Shell will have been most pleased if you’d seen one their #makethefuture music videos.

Twice now Shell has lined up superstars including Jennifer Hudson, Pixie Lott and Yemi Alade to sing about solar panels, hydrogen cars, clean cooking stoves and lights powered by a bag of rocks and gravity.

In 2016, Shell even flew three of the stars to the Rio Di Janeiro favela of Santa Marta to put on a concert.

Shell has said the first video – Best Day of My Life – was watched “more than 800m times”. The second video, On Top of the World, was as sickly sweet as the first and has racked up 19m views on YouTube since it was released in December 2017.

Why pick Santa Marta? As Shell itself explained, it is “one of Rio’s most headline-grabbing favelas” and it’s where they chose to help a winner of one of their entrepreneur awardsput up some solar panels.

But back to #makeithappen and Shell’s other “challenge” – its need to keep young people on side.

In advertising and marketing industry publication Campaign, Shell’s “head of integrated brand communications”, Malena Cutuli, spelled it out.

“It’s no secret that Shell’s own macro challenge is particularly tough, so amidst deep cynicism and complexity, we needed to develop a disruptive approach to engage young people in our new energies mission,” she said.

Read more:

A sample of the Shell pop star campaign;

This was always going to be a problem for the green movement. Now that green narratives are part of the establishment, I mean how many kids truly want to be part of the establishment? How embarrassing must it be to join a green protest, only to discover your parents are camping in the tent next to yours?

Hanging out with big oil means excitement, pop music, cheap booze, parties, and privacy – no true believer green parent would go within five miles of an event sponsored by a big oil company, even if the event notionally celebrates the green initiatives of said oil company.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Propaganda is never fair, logical, nor truthful.

Komrade Kuma

Down in Oz we are watching with jaws open a Royal Commission into our ‘big four’ banks and big financial outfits like AMP etc. The degree of corruptio, greed, cover up etc etc is out there withthe Wall St scumbags, greed is good etc. Billing the deceased for financial advice anyone? Anyway these outfits have also been targeted and have started to kowtow to green-left eco agit prop so where will their moral compass be seen to point when they are publicly assessed by the RC to be utterly corrupt and interested in nothing but short term profits, their executives salaries etc? How noble will they be seen as and how will that affect the other side of things, opening coal mines or gas resources?

Caligula Jones

As the punchline goes, “we’re just negotiating the price”.


I wouldn’t fall for it either millennials as one day you’ll be moving out and paying those power bills-


May as well play the flip side of the hit song-


The leaders of Shell are fools if they think that this attempt to prove how Green they are is going to make any difference.


Shell sold out long ago.


No big deal.
Shell knows that oil will continue to be energy source #1 for a long, long time to come.
They can play the silly game and still sell all they can find.
Oil ain’t going away & they know it

Tom Halla

The kiddies are supposed to fall for the Grauniad’s shallow, misleading, oversimplified agitprop, not Shell’s shallow, misleading, oversimplified agitprop.

Phil Rae

These green initiatives may give oil companies some decent PR but I wonder how much money is just wasted. For companies like Shell, diversifying their energy portfolio by investing in alternative energy sources might make sense just to take the sting out of the constant harangue from anti-hydrocarbon protesters but it probably doesn’t generate any revenue. Look what happened to the “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding that BP attempted in the late 1990s. Long gone!


Pay closer attention. At least one of the initiatives shown involves replacing wood burning with NG. Gee do you think NG is something Shell might sell? And I’m sure they have figured out that the more solar penetrations there is into the market, the greater the need for NG backup.
What jackoffs like Readfearn miss is that Shell is an energy company, not a fossil fuel company. And a smart energy company is always looking to the future, whether it is the latest technology to find and extract oil and gas, or new technology to produce energy. Plus I’m willing to wager that the cost of this ad campaign is less than one day’s worth of operations cost to Shell.


Oh the Horror! Shell using the same techniques used by every other ’cause’ since the ’60s. Just who do they think they are!

Shell is wasting its money. General rule of advertising – if it is something you want, it will be looked at and just possibly noticed. If you don’t want it, it will be ignored. But even if you like the pop stars, you will be taken up with them, and ignore everything related to “solar panels, hydrogen cars, clean cooking stoves and lights powered by a bag of rocks and gravity”.
“Lights powered by a bag of rocks and gravity” – is this the camping light where you hang the weight from a tree and let it gradually descent to power a small light ?

Phil Rae

A clockwork torch makes much more sense….at least you don’t need the rocks! : ]

Leo Smith

General rule of advertising – if it is something you want, it will be looked at and just possibly noticed. If you don’t want it, it will be ignored.

Absolutely wrong as evinced by all the products out there, especially Apple ones, that are examples of what people never knew they didn’t need and certainly didn’t want, but now find they cant live without….
Shell know what they are doing.


If they didn’t want the products, they wouldn’t have bought them. Unless you are saying that Steve Jobs forced people to buy his stuff at gunpoint.

michael hart

Shell clearly hasn’t learned that appeasement doesn’t work when dealing with these Greenpeas types because they always come back for more. They need to adopt a scorched earth policy, if you’ll pardon the expression.

This has long been a marketing technique e.g. fast good brands and soft drinks companies promoting their wares at major sporting events.
Fossil fuels are slowly killing off this planet and Big Oil is adopting the right strategy in diversifying a part of their business into renewables, and in my opinion will upping their investments as regulatory and civic pressure bears down on them to quit their forward investment in fossil fuels. Every fossil fuel advocates on WUWT should read this article to really find out what will have to be done to ensure our children and their children can look to a AGW-free future:

Carl Friis-Hansen

Hiiman is seeing things as black and white. You should think a doctorate would implement a more reserved view. Firstly, there is for and against nearly all subjects, where a balanced view is worth considering. Secondly, Heillman did not care to investigate facts over authority, like the UN-IPCC, thus hanging on to his positive loop feedback brain spin – saving animals and humans by murder, starvation and suicide. Sadly these people has huge influence on all generations, as they enter through the lecturers door with shiny authority.

D. J. Hawkins

Really? NASA begs to differ:
If you had a clue, you wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Bruce Cobb

“Fossil fuels are slowly killing off this planet…” Which planet now? And which universe? Because on this planet, the only thing fossil fuels are doing is providing much-needed plant food, greening things. I suppose that could be a problem for those who like to keep their grass mowed to within an inch of its life (I let it grow, and only cut it when it gets to over a foot or more, using my trusty DR Mower), meaning they have to mow more often. And trimming things like bushes, or the dreaded ragosa roses, which can reach out at you from the jungle just beyond your yard, ensnaring you and dragging you screaming into the thicket. But generally, greener is better, providing more food for us, and for all life in general.

This is the biggest load of baloney of all the sceptic arguments and is completely unfounded. Stop spouting such utter c@@p. Believe this about a ‘greening plant’ and you will believe any lunatic sceptic theory.

This is the biggest load of baloney of all the sceptic arguments and is completely unfounded. Stop spouting such utter c@@p. Believe this about a ‘greening planet’ and you will believe any lunatic sceptic theory.

John Endicott

I guess nasa is in the business of “lunatic skeptic theories”
ivankinsman, ignorance is not a virtue.


If it’s not in the Guardian, it didn’t happen.
At least that’s how ivanski is paid to view the world.


Posting it twice isn’t going to make it any more truer, ivankinsman.

Thomas Homer

” the only thing fossil fuels are doing is providing much-needed plant food, greening things” …
” This is the biggest load of baloney of all the sceptic arguments and is completely unfounded ”
The Carbon Cycle of Life cannot complete without Carbon Dioxide. Life depends on the extraction of Carbon from atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis and phytoplankton. Carbon based life forms require carbon.
How else to say the same thing? Life consumes CO2; CO2 feeds life; CO2 is the base of the food chain.
The unintended consequence of burning fossil fuels is an increase in the amount of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide which is freely distributed throughout the globe and available everywhere. The Carbon Cycle of Life is made more robust.

Thomas Homer

BTW – I confess that my arguments are completely unfunded.

Bruce Cobb

Bahahahaha! Looks like ivanski can’t handle the truth.


Plant food is killing the planet?
Really strange world you inhabit their ivanski. Where is it located?

I don’t think you are a gardener Mark. I give my vegetables manure, compost and organic fertiliser in my raised beds. Look at the statistic I quoted earlier ref. US fossil fuel emissions since records begun. If the planet needs this extra CO2 then why hasn’t it been in-built naturally into the planetary system?

Thomas Homer

“I give my vegetables manure, compost and organic fertiliser ”
– each of those contain organic Carbon.
“If the planet needs this extra CO2 then why hasn’t it been in-built naturally into the planetary system?”
Three sister planets:
Venus – 95% CO2 atmosphere
Earth – 0.04% CO2 atmosphere
Mars – 95% CO2 atmosphere
You’re right that we need to be concerned that Life has consumed Earth’s CO2.

John Endicott

I don’t think you know all that much about plants ivan. You clearly don’t know anything about photosynthesis.
CO2 + H2O + photons → [CH2O] + O2
carbon dioxide + water + light energy → carbohydrate + oxygen
There’s a reason greenhouses use CO2 levels up to 1500 ppm (ie 3 to 4 times current atmospheric levels): it improve plant quality and increases production.
So if adding CO2 is not good for plant life (and you seem to be insisting), why do greenhouse owners spend money on increasing the amounts of CO2 in their greenhouse to those levels? surely they are wasting their money if the extra CO2 isn’t needed as you assert.


the planet will most likely long out live humanity. In case you haven’t figured it out (and you obviously haven’t) nothing kills your credibility quicker than making childish, emotion based statements such as “Fossil fuels are slowly killing off this planet”.

Objective scientific based statement agreed with by the majority of climate scientists on this planet i.e. those participating in the IPCC Nothing childish or emotional here my friend.

John Endicott

ivan, does that include the climate scientists from nasa that agree with that “lunatic skeptic theory” (your childish and emotional description) of a ‘greening planet’. or do you only agree with climate scientists when they say stuff that you childishly and emotionally agree with?

Stopped reading at “The guardian”.
Ivan, you might be interested to check out Stephan Molyneux’s presentation on how the brain works:

part 4 is critical in assisting you understand why you are driven to seek out such propaganda as the guardian allthewhile thinking it has any credibility… hint. It does not.

Joel O'Bryan

Big Oil… shamelessly exploiting the snowflake Millennials who live in their parent’s home…. oh the irony.


Greenwashing, pure and simple.

Albert Brand

When will New York lift moratorium on fracking? When hell freezes over! Coming!! Sarc

Bruce Cobb

New York motto: “We wannabe the California (aka kookifornia) of the East!”

Ian Macdonald

A more likely long-term prediction of our fate:

Also, Heidi Parviainen can sing.

Carl Friis-Hansen

I would rather listen to “Minnesotans For Global Warming” for the sake of the lyrics.

Lance of BC

My kind of music! Awesome guitars, just needs a touch of growly vocals to make it brutal!

Shell does realize the obvious with respect to gasoline – as the fleet transforms over to electric, the obvious location for public DC fast chargers is in gas stations : they were built to refuel cars and that’s true regardless of whether the fuel is gas or electricity. And they can slowly replace gas pumps with charging pods as demand warrants – they don’t have to shell out a bundle of cash at once. Royal Dutch Shell recently acquired a charging company and they also joined IONITY, which is a charging company created by Euro automakers Ford,BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagon and will shortly include Jaguar and Volvo. They are installing CCS protocol 350KW chargers in gas stations thoughout Europe, one brand signed on is Shell,along with several others. These chargers can recharge a 300 mile electric car battery to 80% in less than 15 minutes, more than twice as fast as any Tesla vehicle can be recharged at its Supercharger stations. Tesla is trying to join IONITY as well – they should tell that sleazy company to go to hell – they had attempted to create a monopoly charger network and charge all the other automakers licensing fees – that didn’t work, so Musk then desperately offered the use of his network for free – they all turned him down and coalesced on the CCS charging protocol, an open (not proprietary) protocol. Tesla now can’t find the cash to expand their Supercharger network, at least not in Europe.

Peter Morris

Haha! Nice pun.


Can’t find the cash.
Sure sign that the venture is expected to lose money.


That’s nice, but I really, really, really don’t want a car that explodes when I’m driving it.


I’m mystified by the term ‘clean cooking stove’. I always clean mine if I spill anything on it when I’m cooking, and give it a full once-over weekly. The oven needs a new igniter so I have to decide between replacing the igniter or the stove.
Stoves are interesting critters. They serve us well, provide heat for cooking, ask nothing but a little understanding in their lives – things like wash the burner plates and a nice wipe-down on a regular basis. They simply do not clean themselves, you know.
We should be much more appreciative of stoves. They get so little of it. If it weren’t for stoves, we’d be using an open fireplace and turning a spit while the roast drippings slowly fill the drip pan below.


Hahaha hahaha yeah those stoves are unsung heroes