Al Gore: 2007 Marketer of the Year Runner-Up

Reinvented Pol Stokes Green Movement

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Mr. Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" brought in $48.6 million worldwide.
Gore-backed Current TV boasts 30% consumer-generated content.
Photo: Aviv Small
Follow your passion. When Al Gore reappeared in 2004 following his ill-fated run at the presidency in '00, neither consumer-generated media nor climate change was what you'd call a mainstream issue. My, how things have changed. Current TV, the cable network backed by Mr. Gore, is a profitable company, riding the crest of the CGM wave. And climate change? Well, you know how important that's become in American business.

Don't underestimate the power of PowerPoint. American consumers are often dismissed as apathetic. Yet they still enthused about Mr. Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," turning a gussied-up PowerPoint presentation into an Oscar-winning box-office hit.
WINNER: Nintendo
  1. Apple
  2. Nike
  3. Al Gore
  4. Geico
  5. Unilever
It just goes to show that a dry issue can come alive if it's relevant, well-timed and, of course, has the right spokesman.

Social responsibility for business is real. Don't believe it? One word: hybrid. If companies such as GM and Toyota, which have built empires on gas guzzlers, can acknowledge the power of the Prius, then you should too. Credit that corporate-social-
responsibility consumer pressure ginned up by the likes of Mr. Gore.

Remember that chestnut that there are no second acts in life? Mr. Gore is living proof there are. After the 2000 election, he went into seclusion, only to re-emerge with a beard, some extra pounds and a bunch of speaking gigs. His comeback is evidence that transformations are always just a smart strategy away, even if shedding the extra weight isn't. Anything is possible. Nothing is impossible. However you want to phrase it, Mr. Gore has proved that fringe issues can be mainstream and consumers can come to care about things other than price and convenience.

Not everything has to issue from a long-term strategy. Nobody believes Mr. Gore's makeover was the result of endless calculation. He just followed some long-held enthusiasms and made himself relevant. It's a rebirth that seems stunningly off the cuff, even underplanned -- and considering he has a political pedigree that saw every hiccup choreographed, that's saying something.
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