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Dad, I Got the Call: Exxon Mobil Wants Me on a Rig

For certain social media influencers, brand-sponsored trips are just part of the job. If they’re lucky, they may find themselves admiring the Instagrammably blue waters of the Greek islands, or perhaps the pink sunsets of Bali. But what about endless ocean views from the metal decks of an offshore oil rig?

“So, I need to, like, know by tonight, but I got invited on this brand trip,” a young woman told her boyfriend over the phone last week. “It’s with Exxon Mobil.”

A new prank on TikTok has prompted dozens of influencers to call their loved ones and tell them some version of the same story: that they have been invited on a brand trip to an oil rig off the coast of Texas, paid for by Exxon Mobil. Those on the receiving end of the call (who are not in on the joke) have had mixed reactions.

One father was generally supportive of the idea when his daughter proposed it on speakerphone. His reasoning? “People are not dying there.” Someone else responded to the proposition with confusion. “That’s definitely not her following,” she said of her influencer friend’s personal brand. “Her following is, like, girls that want limited-edition Chanel bags.”

Soph Mosca, 24, an influencer living in Los Angeles, wanted to see what sort of reaction she could generate from her father, Chuck. He told his daughter, accurately, “It’s a huge company to put on your résumé.”

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