It’s not easy to put a face on an oil company. These days, geography pretty much dictates the few fans of fossil fuel.
Yet, ExxonMobil showed the best of improv marketing, transforming Trump’s words into a human moment.
During a campaign speech in Prescott, Arizona, earlier this week, Trump slipped into his stand-up comedian schtick:
“’Hi, how you doing, how’s energy coming, when are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh? Okay. But I call the head of Exxon, I say, You know, I’d love [you] to send me $25 million for the campaign. Absolutely sir, why didn’t you ask, would you like some more?’ If I made the call, I will hit a home run, every single call. I would raise a billion dollars in one day, if I wanted to. I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to do it.”
Naturally, everyone is wondering if the President tin cupped the ExxonMobil CEO for $25 mil.
If you’re ExxonMobil’s corporate communications team, the clock is ticking. Do you respond? If yes, how?
They conjured the perfect response, using the President’s medium of choice — Twitter.
First thing first, they managed to keep the legal team in a subservient role. We don’t read on Twitter:
“President Trump recently stated in a campaign speech that he spoke with the ExxonMobil CEO. That is an inaccurate statement. The two individuals did not speak to each other as referred to in the President’s speech on Oct. 19, 2020. It is true that the two individuals in question know each other and have spoken during times before Oct. 19, 2020.”
This is how attorneys think. This is how attorneys write. The clinical language squeezes every ounce of humanity out the tweet.
Instead, ExxonMobil’s communications crafts a tweet with conversational language and a touch of levity.
I put ExxonMobil’s response up there with the best of improv marketing, including Oreo’s tweet during the Super Bowl blackout.