Sometimes we play 'what's my Brief?' Guess the strategy behind the ad. This one was deceptively tricky - a man drives around, re-fuels, drives some more. "This is Mark and Mark is energy." The American version (shown here) is Gordon.
We see Mark/Gordon from high up, in an anonymous American city with very little traffic, where they drive to meetings, seemingly on both the left and the right hand side of the road.
A clue to the strategy is normally found when the VO says, 'that's why ...' In the case of the UK version we're told Mark fills up at Esso because ... he drives to meetings. And gets Tesco Club Card points.
So Exxon's Brief must have been, 'please spend quite a lot of money - and show the logo at the end'.
It's a good illustration of the perils of trying to 'depict the real consumer' when you take a top-floor boardroom view of the world. Why does it fail to live up to its lofty aspirations?
The ad is part of a major Exxon campaign, Energy Lives Here, which translates Exxon's expertise (energy) into tangible, person-on-the-street (or in the car) terms. Which may be fine on paper, seen on a global, corporate scale, but looks very vacuous indeed when seen in product terms, as an individual execution - certainly this one.
Or is it because Dave Knockles has finally got a job, as Exxon's UK Head of Marketing?