Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gore: Laying A $300 Million Egg

I missed Al Gore on 60 Minutes. I miss just about everyone on 60 Minutes. Blood pressure, you know.

But I've looked over his new Web site,, viewed his ad ...

... and read what the NYT has to say about his new $300 million effort to recruit Warmie activists, which likens the campaign to the moon shot and the civil rights movement.

And I am vastly, momentously unimpressed.

First, the ad. According to Gorecrat Cathy Zoi, they want the ad to have the same "marketing success" of the "this is your brain on drugs" ad. I hope so too. The frying egg ad had a great visual impact but very little social impact, and drug use among teens grew through the years it aired. Too bad about that, but how great would it be if the Warmies blew $300 million and didn't move the public opinion needle one iota?

I don't think they will, for several reasons.

First, the ad is a milquetoast blah of a thing with nothing near the impact of the frying egg or the other ad Zoi cited, the anti-pollution ad with the tearful Native American. Both of those ads showed the problems graphically and we knew they were problems within our power to solve. Not true of wecansolveit. They didn't show the global warming problem at all (how could they?), and did nothing to convince skeptics that it's within our power to solve.

Second, $300 million isn't enough. The NYT quoted a public service advertising expert who said:
“I think the global warming project media budget should be 10 times as high. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi spend over a billion dollars each year to promote brand preference for soft drinks. In this light, the $100 million per year to change our lifestyles seems pretty small.”
I agree. How many times did Mr. Whipple have to squeeze the Charmin -- at thousands of dollars per squeeze -- to convince Americans that they really wanted a one-ply toilet paper? Besides, how much electricity will be burned to power all the TVs and transmitters needed to get the message across?

What is the carbon footprint of your campaign, Mr. Gore?

And most significantly, the ad is targeted towards folks whose opinions it won't change.
Ms. Zoi said the goal was to recruit people she described as “influentials.” She added: “These are people who talk to five times as many people a day as the typical person, who derive self-esteem from having new information.”
Influentials have already made up their minds about global warming ... that's the kind of people they are; that's what makes them influential. wecansolveit may give some influentials a new action mechanism, but it won't bring any new influentials to the party. They're already there.

The campaign says it wants to recruit 10 million activists, becoming a Warmie version of the Leftist political action site But they're spending $300 million to do it -- or $30 per target person. Given that their target person already fawns over Gore and is committed to "saving the planet" (egomaniacs!), why spend a penny getting them?

As dreadful and ill thought out I think this campaign is, it's troubling to realize that there's no chance for a $300 million campaign to recruit counter-Warmie activists into an action network to shout down the carbon crazies at

Who's going to start wedon'

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