VIU professor Dr. Mark Robinson is pleased to announce the upcoming release of his first book, Marketing Big Oil: Brand Lessons from the World’s Largest Companies. The book is the result of a gaping hole in literature on the subject of marketing big oil companies. “I had done research and couldn’t find any books on the topic of marketing oil,” he told University Magazine. “There were a few academic articles, but other than that there were only a few event-driven books.” Such event-driven books focus on disasters like the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill or the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Robinson pointed out that, historically, oil company executives “didn’t worry about company image – only money.” As a result, oil companies seem incapable of escaping a negative reputation in the eyes of consumers.
This brings us to what Marketing Big Oil explores: the efforts of oil companies to overcome a persistently negative public image. Grounded by some inside experience in the industry (Dr. Robinson worked in marketing for Exxon for over a decade) and a year’s worth of research, the book first provides a history of the industry and then describes some of the major crises with which it is associated. Other segments of the book analyze companies’ use of advertising and, more recently, social media as a means of repairing a tattered public image – a goal Dr. Robinson believes is unattainable, despite impressive and successful campaigns such as Chevron’s “We Agree” advertisement series.
Dr. Robinson’s narrative style will draw you in to the intriguing history and controversy of his subject-matter, whether you are a business and marketing expert or simply someone who buys gasoline to fuel your car.