I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to get their kids a Shell-themed LEGO set, but apparently someone did, or Greenpeace would not have had to make this depressing video protesting the advertising partnership between the world’s largest toy company and a global fossil fuel conglomerate. (I mean, child-me would definitely have coveted those polar bear and husky minifigs, but a flaming oil rig?)
In fact, LEGO and Shell go way back, to the 1960s when the popular build-it-yourself toy company started selling Shell-branded toys to future engineers. But now, with Shell making persistent yet tentative moves in the warming Arctic, Greenpeace is calling out the companies’ 2012 contract, which they claim is worth $116 million to Shell’s PR department. The run of logo-bedecked toys are sold at gas stations in 26 countries, and have supposedly been accompanied by a 7.5 percent increase in Shell sales.
The video, especially with the glummed-up LEGO movie theme song and Santa eyeball-deep in crude, is legit depressing. I had no idea LEGO faces could be so expressive! There’s even a pinstriped Shell-executive gleefully sucking on a cigar. If you want to wipe the smug grin off his little plastic face, you can sign Greenpeace’s petition here.
Save the Arctic, Greenpeace.
Greenpeace ad calls for end to Lego Shell partnership, Creative Review.
Greenpeace Targets Lego for Shell Partnership in New Campaign, AdWeek.