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WTF?! Our planet is getting warmer, the ice is melting, and young people are worried about what sort of future they face. How can big oil help placate these problems? By using Fortnite and social media to promote the use of fossil fuels, of course.
Media Matters reports that Shell has been trying to reach a younger demographic by partnering with Fortnite creators and sponsoring popular gamers to create and promote the Shell Ultimate Road Trips map.
The map requires gamers to refuel their in-game vehicles with V-Power NiTRO+ Premium gas at a station hub located in the center of six different areas. It also encourages them to post screenshots with the hashtag #Shellroadtrips.
Media Matters writes that Shell sponsored at least six streamers, including Punisher, NateHill, Chica, and brookeab, with a combined Twitch following of over 5.5 million subscribers to help promote the map. In August, each held a sponsored stream where they tested it out.
All road trips start with @shellstationsus, and you can journey across six of the most beautiful terrains to experience the Shell Ultimate Road Trips.– Ghost Whoh (@WHOH) September 15, 2023
Fuel up with Shell V-Power® NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline and hit the road to experience all that Shell Island Fortnite map has to… pic.twitter.com/808n2QwRRJ
Some of the streamers promoted their sponsored streams on social media platforms. This is in addition to at least three other content creators posting promo videos for the map on Shell's YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram accounts. The report notes that the influencers have a combined 1.5 million Instagram followers, 8.5 million TikTok followers, and 11.6 million YouTube subscribers.
"Shell's marketing to young people is another example of how big oil puts profit over people and the planet, even though it has known for decades that the product that it sells is driving the climate crisis," said Allison Fisher, director of Media Matters' climate and energy program.
There's been a slew of worrying news related to the environment this year. July 2023 was the world's hottest month on record as more regions started feeling the effects of global warming. We heard in September that Earth is now outside most of the "planetary boundaries" under which human civilization emerged. And there was the recent revelation that Swiss glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. This comes after Antarctica experienced the sharpest heatwave ever seen on Earth last year.
Shell doesn't seem overly concerned by all this. In July, the month it reported quarterly profits of more than $5 billion, chief executive Wael Sawan said it would be "dangerous and irresponsible" to cut the production of fossil fuel.