BP Is Spending $500 Million To Fix Its Brand And Get Everybody To Forget About Deepwater Horizon

deepwater explosion

Photo: US Coast Guard via Wikimedia Commons

BP North America is putting $500 million into marketing in the US over the next two years, in an attempt to revamp its brand, reports Convenience Store News (via brandchannel).It has been two years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster ravaged the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline. BP’s PR machine has been focused on damage control ever since.

BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” marketing message started in 2000, but the environmental focus seemed at odds with the company’s record — especially after the high-profile accident in the gulf. Its message was great, but simply not believable.

As Gardiner Morse at HBR noted shortly after Deepwater Horizon, “BP seems to have forgotten the number-one rule in marketing and management: walk the talk. BP is a victim of a disingenuous ad campaign that worked too well, and you have to wonder if its reputation will ever fully recover.”

But now, it has a shiny new marketing plan, and a big budget to play around with exclusively for its retail brand in the US. CSN’s report describes it as focused around “a distinctive fuel offer, improved customer experience and a more compelling loyalty rewards program.”

BP is centering its campaign around providing practical value for customers, and that’s a smart move. It will be easier for folks to move past BP’s devastation of the Gulf of Mexico without having that very same company constantly harping on environmental issues.

The first step in its new campaign is to launch a big ad campaign for BP Invigorate — a gasoline that cleans your engine as you drive, saving you some money, according to BP. It says that the campaign “will emphasise the increased mileage benefits of continuous use of Invigorate compared to low-detergency fuels.”

Also, there will be a “Pump Rewards” loyalty program starting up in March.

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