Friday, February 27, 2009

The Clean Coal Communications War Continues!

As you know, I have been covering the communications coming from the clean coal and the anti-clean coal lobbies. It's been an interesting time where we've seen singing coal nuggets, a non-existent clean coal plant, and an occasional informative website that tells the truth. Luckily for me, decency, dignity and intelligence were checked at the door by both sides, and I now have plenty to write about.

After the inauguration of President Obama, the clean coal lobby smoothly released this ad:

This is by far the best ad the clean coal lobby has produced. Rather than singing about "some magic in that clean coal technology," the message is spot on: despite the fact that creating clean coal technology is going to be hard to create and very expensive, it's worth the investment.

The people at is sticking to what has worked for them thus far with two new ads that throw stones:

All in all, these ads are fine but their cynicism can only go so far. I love to watch Bill Maher and the Daily Show as much as anyone else, but those shows are comedy programs. I do not go to them for information that I use to make decisions. If the people at continue to share their message in this snarky manner, they need to be prepared to alienate substantially large groups of people.

(On a side note, I don't completely hate the ads. I love the droning noise at the end of the air freshener spot. It's a great artistic use of drone music, but that's for another time.)

One of the great misconceptions about Millennials, Generation Y, or what ever you want to call them is that they get their information from these programs. If the anti-clean coal fails to stop the proliferation of coal fire power plants it will be because they made the assumption that all young people need to be spoken to in a sarcastic tone.

1 comment:

Daniel McDonell said...

I personally like the ads, I think they are pretty good at showing the absolute ridiculousness of the idea of clean coal. (don't forget to mention the third one in which the guy shows an acutal "clean coal technology" in an empty field where nothing is going on.

But I agree that the sarcasm can only go so far. (As much as I love Al Gore, he can be accused of this tone way too often) It's a good attention getter, but it's definitely time to start using some intelligent fact-based marketing in the anti-coal campaigns.