Gore Crusade Gets a Second Wind

New Ad Campaign Enlists Celebrities to Urge Action on Climate Change

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Can a $100 million-a-year marketing effort prod Americans into getting more involved in solving the climate crisis?
Al Gore
Al Gore Credit: Aviv Small

Former Vice President Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection are about to find out as they roll out a three-year campaign partially bankrolled through Mr. Gore's Nobel Peace Prize winnings and proceeds from Mr. Gore's Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

Big names on board
The ad campaign from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., due to break April 2, doesn't suggest specific behavior Americans should change, but instead uses celebrities from the Dixie Chicks to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to urge business and government leaders to focus on developing environmental policies and solutions that will bring change.

"From the very beginning, we felt there was a gap in the marketplace in that there wasn't a massive national effort to communicate about the urgency and solvability of the climate crisis," said Brian Hardwick, communications director for the Alliance. "We want to inspire people to help, hoping that if enough of us raise our voices we can come together to demand more from our leaders."

Besides Mr. Gingrich and the Dixie Chicks, the ads feature the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Pat Robertson, Toby Keith and current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Alliance was holding off announcing most details of the ads until this week, but did say they would urge "solutions."

No avoiding it
The Alliance is touting the campaign as an "unprecedented effort," and said that the messages will run in TV, print, the internet and a wide variety of venues. The initial TV buy is broad, including the broadcast networks, cable including MTV and news networks.

How much of the effort will to toward advertising remains to be seen. The Alliance is hoping marketers will help spread the message by tying in through their own packaging ads and websites. Mr. Gore, in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" to be broadcast March 30, suggests that few thinking people still believe that global warming isn't a reality.

"You're talking about Dick Cheney. I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they're almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat," Mr. Gore told the network. "That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off."
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