The Shell game.
(click image to read copy)
"Our smoke stacks emit flowers, our mouths—fertilizer."
Cutesy colorful artwork is definitely in fashion these days with Earth's pals, Big Oil. Check out bp's cutesy-wootsey logo lockup. Also hot: cutesy names for flaccid alternative energy programs. bp has alternativenergy™ (shared "e" = cutesy) and Shell has Energise™ (combo of "energy" and "wise" = cutesy), while Exxon's is not so cutesy—Global Energy Management System (too busy counting money to be bothered with a cutesy name.).
Anyway, to the above balderdash. The first line of the copy reads: "If only we had a magic trash can that we could throw stuff in and make it disappear forever." Why is Shell talking to Wall Street Journal readers like they're first-graders? Copy continues: "What we can do is find creative ways to recycle. Greenhouses use our waste CO2 to grow flowers (Ohhhh, that explains the grossly misleading illustration.). And our waste sulphur to make super-strong (super!) concrete. Real energy solutions for the real world."
Big Oil companies spend a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a (you get the idea) of their yearly revenue on alt energy initiatives. Which is in stark contrast to the large portion of their ad budgets that goes to promoting them.
With gas prices in the US heading towards $4 a gallon this Summer, you can bet Shell etc. are in a big-ass hurry to deliver "real" alternative energy solutions.
previously in specious corporate ads:
1. The Good Hands, Bad Taste People.
2. 3rd ad of campaign: Fo Shizzle My Nizzle.
3. "Trees are pretty. Let's use trees."
4. Vis-a-vis BULLSHIT.