Rate the Ad: We Campaign: Repower America

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Last week, we looked at work for Tourism Australia that was produced by Baz Luhrmann, who just happens to be gearing up for his newest movie, an epic love story called "Australia" starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The Australian filmmaker, known for "Romeo + Juliet" and "Moulin Rouge!" teamed up with Australia's tourism board to conceive the spots, which also feature an Aboriginal actor who's in the movie. With both the place and a character in common with the film, we wanted to know how well this campaign sells content and commerce simultaneously. Do these spots make you want to pack off to Australia? How 'bout the movies?

While Rate the Adsters liked the campaign, most—other than the proud Aussie, that is—just couldn't swallow all the magical desert dust. Commenter "AndrewR" says, "I think the insight (need for revival & escape) is interesting, and the truism about the brand (incredibly grand nature & escape) is spot on....What bothers me though is the dark, moody and seemingly one-trick gravitas of it - and the seemingly narrow target audience this will appeal to. To be truly effective it'll need a number of different moods and executions to provide a bigger story and emotional connection with the 'brand' of Australia. I only hope Tourism Australia has deep pockets, because Baz ain't cheap!"

"Grafbob" points to how Tourism Australia might be a wee out of touch with the global economic climate: "I tend to be an American workaholic. The spot did rekindle my memories of discovering the Cascade Mountains nearby. Being mostly broke these days, Australia seems like Mars. ...Given the current economic situation, I feel that it might be a long time before I would be able to get down under."

And, one last word from a native: "maxys" says, "As a totally biased Aussie, I LOVE IT!!! A big step from the "Shrimp on the Bar be."

This week, we look at a scuffle between clean energy proponents and a TV network. ABC refused to air "Repower America," a spot from Al Gore'sWe Campaign, during a September 26 "20/20" episode, Ad Age reports. The spot, from Washington-based Glover Park Group, contains accusations that big oil blocks clean energy with more than $100 million in "lobbyists, ads, even scandals, to increase their profits while America suffers. Breaking big oil's lock on our government – now that's change." After Gore made a fuss at the Clinton Global Initiative conference recently (civil disobedience anyone?), ABC pulled "Repower America" and ran another We spot, "Free Us" from the Martin Agency, in its place. On October 8, the We Campaign--a recent initiative from Alliance for Climate Protection, a group the former veep started in 2006—and Alliance CEO Cathy Zoi took up the bullhorn, made ABC's actions public and asked the campaign's more than 1.5 million members to chastise the network.

What do you think? Is ABC's decision defensible? Or did the network pull the ad to keep big oil and its plentiful ad dollars happy? Do you find the ad incendiary? Is the We Campaign overreacting? Drama aside, does the ad work or do you miss the old We ads that found Nancy and Newt palling around? Pen your verdict below.
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