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Posts Tagged ‘We Can Solve It’

This morning’s New York Times article, ‘On the Internet, It’s All About ‘My’‘, took me straight to the current world food crisis. Particularly troubling, are the following statistics:

Matthew Zook of ZookNIC, a business that analyzes domain names, said domains that start with “my” more than tripled between 2005 and 2008, to 712,000 from 217,000. According to the government’s Patent and Trademark Office, the number of trademark applications to register marks that include the word “my” increased to 1,943 last year from 382 in 1998.

As a nation it seems to me that we are stuck in toddler, ‘It’s mine’ mode. Our mothers must not have done a very good job at explaining the true meaning of ‘You need to share’. We are a nation suffering from maladaptive narcissism, unable to see beyond our own wants.

Of course, there are some hopeful signs with the popularity of the Obama, ‘Yes We Can‘ campaign, and Al Gore‘s attempts to rally people with ‘We Can Solve It‘. But then, one needs to question the scope of the ‘we’. There is a real arrogance in thinking that ‘we’ the Americans have the solutions, and can decide what’s best for the whole planet.

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The “we” campaign does not show much creativity, is not doing enough, and should involve the people more. These are three of the criticisms brought up in a World Changing article, titled, Can We Solve It Like This? Why the We Campaign Needs Change. Earlier, I have shared my excitement, and also reservations about the campaign. Here is one more thought . . .

we” could have more of a Web 2.0 flavor and include a blog for instance, where regular folks like you and I could have open conversations, and share our ideas of solutions to the big GW monster. I could definitely see that. Think a blog like the recent My Starbucks Idea.

If influencers are indeed the intended target of the “we” campaign, then you need to catch them where they are. In the blogs, on social networks, on YouTube. Not with traditional TV or print.

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What interests me most about Al Gore‘s new “we” campaign, is the movement it aims to create with citizens. Finally, there is a place from where to channel global actions from the bottom up. The site taps into the power of petitioning the powers in charge, similar to what the Swiss did a few months ago

There are currently four main initiatives that citizens can participate in:

Sign the petition for a global treaty on climate change

Tell your friends about our latest video

Urge the Press to Ask About Global Warming

Ask lenders to consider climate impact when funding new coal plants

I urge you to become a part of the “we” movement. If you are a blogger, maybe you can write a post about it, or copy this one? If you are a reader of blogs, maybe you can click on one of the four links above and do your share as a citizen? No matter what, this is too good of an initiative to be ignored.

May the “we” movement spread and ignite the people at the top!

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Some people think the “we” campaign is just a drop in the vast ocean of consumer advertising. In his New York Times article about the campaign, Andrew Revkin, quotes John Murphy Jr., associate professor of marketing at the University of Iowa:

“I think the global warming project media budget should be 10 times as high,” he said. “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.”

For some more perspective, here is the list of the top 10 brands with their yearly ad budgets – from Ad Age Top 200 Brands:

Is The “we” Campaign Just a Drop?

 

I understand the “we” campaign’s strategy of targeting ‘influentials’, and of trying to stretch their $300 million budget that way. It is a smart move, but cleverness can only go so far.

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