Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Management and International Business

First Advisor

Michael T. Dugan

Advisor Department



On April 20, 2010, one explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused the greatest oil spill disaster in United States history. The effects of the spill were realized almost immediately. Seafood fishers lost jobs and product, the Gulf was tainted, and people around the nation realized the damage was not going to go away any time soon. The question asked around the nation was, “What are they going to do about it?” The “they” being British Petroleum, the owners of the ill-fated oil rig. BP did do something about it; they advertised. The corporation spent an estimated 93 million dollars on advertising alone. The purpose of this grand advertising campaign was to make people, more specifically those most directly affected by the spill, feel better about the damage and to make those affected know that they, BP, were indeed ‘getting things done’ in regard to the aftermath of the spill. All this effort and money put into advertising would surely ensure the success of the campaign with viewers. Or did it?

In my thesis, I conduct an analysis of the responses of people in the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast, New Orleans, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.