The Dow Chemical Company was incorporated in 1947 and brings together science and technology into innovating products that have proved important to human progress. The company connects innovation and chemistry while putting in mind the principles of sustainability in addressing global problems such as the need for clean water, generation of renewable energy, conservation and increasing food productivity in agriculture. The “Human Element” commercials by the company in 2006 reintroduced the organization. Moreover, those advertisements brought its vision of addressing issues that have proved somewhat pressing in terms of economic, environmental and social problems facing the global community in this decade forward (CSRwire, 2006). The Bhopal disaster is a key issue to the company because, since its merger with Union Carbide, it was involved in the disaster, and it has refused to be responsible for the liabilities in India and even clean up the toxic poisons that came about as a result of the event (Greenpeace, 2013).
The Analysis of the Issue
The Bhopal disaster involved the leaking of more than 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas on December 1984. As a result, more than 3,800 people were killed, and there were much more thousands morbidity and premature deaths. This became the worst industrial accident in history in general, and Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) contracted to build the plant for the manufacturing of Sevin in particular. Sevin is a pesticide that was commonly used throughout Asia, immediately tried to alienate itself from legal responsibilities that came about as a result of the disaster. An agreement with the Indian government was eventually reached through mediation of the Supreme Court, and the company had to accept the moral obligation. The disaster brought to light the need for strong international standards for preventative strategies and environmental safety that can be effectively enforced to avoid such accidents and improve disaster preparedness of industries (Broughton, 2005).
The “Human Element” commercial features humans and excludes professional actors. It also includes great human and environmental imagery. The cast involves children at an orphanage in Namibia, an artist at his studio in Prague, and a blacksmith in Mexico (CSRwire, 2006). The campaign lasted approximately 90 seconds. The “Yes Men” campaign, on the other hand, featured two daring political activists who were pretending to be Dow Chemical top executives and broke into conferences and pulled off pranks to provoke good business practices (Bullfrog Films, 2009). They are able to announce on BBC World News that Dow will finally clean up the site of Bhopal catastrophe, which results to people celebrations worldwide. The Bhopal version of Dow’s “Human Element” commercial adopts the music and voice used in Dow’s advertisement and footage related to some of Dow’s handiwork.
The “Human Element” commercial featured a voice-over that mixed spiritual profundity and chemistry made mystical. The music in the commercial, “The New Harmony Waltz” by SusanVoelz should be credited for the ads with mesmerizing and powerful effect (Hamessley, 2013). The advert proves to the world and the company about the future direction of the business. The “Yes Men” campaign, on the other hand, raises crucial questions about capitalism, and whether it is sustainable and ethical responsibility of firms through satire and humor. The commercial by Dow Chemical is a good idea as it introduces the company to the globe in the good light, and makes clear its vision of addressing the fundamental economic, environmental and social concerns facing the world. The “Yes Men” actions are also good since they tackle the issue of social responsibility of companies in global capitalism. It brings to light issues such as business ethics, social philosophy and public policy.
Dow Chemical should not be blamed for the Bhopal disaster. Through its “Human Element” campaign, it has been able to redeem itself as it makes clear the company’s vision of addressing the fundamental economic, environmental and social problems in the world. In addition, the “Yes Men” campaign ought to be lauded as it questions the ethical responsibility of firms and capitalism and asks whether it is sustainable.