segunda-feira, julho 21, 2008

vanity ... cute

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Alliance for Climate Protection:, ... hints of confusion.

nós / eu   ?
Al Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate ProtectionAl Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate Protection
and waddabout
nous / je    ?
(can we say it in russion? can we say it in german? can we say it in brow-wwwww-ken english?)

1. A Disappointing Truth, Lawrence Downes, July 20.
2. Al Gore's New Logo, Steven Heller, April 6.

Problems with Al Gore, again. The rock show fiasco, and now this.

Maybe the root problem is parochialism - he is looking for a solution for America, in english, specifically tailored for Bill & Betty Nice. Not a bad start, no, since this may be the bellybutton of it all, but - it seems to me the solution will be more general. And of course Gore hangs out with a celebrity crowd, including the conceptual artist who designed the logo - Brian Collins. Too fat Al!

A-and maybe you will see what I mean if you look at the series of pictures below, the first one being on the front-page of his website, then 1971, 1994, 2007 & 2007, hummm ... unfair I know.

Al Gore, We/MeAl Gore, We/MeAl Gore, We/MeAl Gore, We/MeAl Gore, We/Me

Al Gore, Cartoon, An Inconvenient TruthAl Gore, Cartoon, An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate ProtectionAl Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate ProtectionAl Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate ProtectionAl Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate ProtectionAl Gore, We/Me, Brian Collins, Alliance for Climate Protection

A Disappointing Truth, Lawrence Downes, July 20.
Al Gore gave a big speech about global warming last week. He was thunderous and prophetic. He said “the survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk.” He implored the nation to stop burning dirty coal, gas and oil — in just 10 years. In a policy context, that’s like sending the nation to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

So here’s a question: If the job is so huge and urgent, why is the ad campaign so pedestrian?

Mr. Gore is spending $300 million, a lot of it his own money, in the next three years to get the country moving on global warming. He has promised the biggest, most ambitious public-service advertising blitz anyone has ever seen.

So far it’s a cute green logo, the word “me” turned upside-down to “we.” It’s an earnest Web site. It’s Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson on a couch, joshing about saving the earth. It’s Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, joshing on a couch. I saw one very funny ad with Billy Crystal and David Letterman joshing on a couch. Too bad it was a parody.

Nobody said this job was going to be easy. How to get people worked up about a slow-motion global catastrophe, one without explosions, has vexed the best minds of this generation. But Mr. Gore himself has done more than anybody to put global warming on center stage, with just a PowerPoint presentation that became an Oscar-winning movie. So it’s vexing that his new campaign — so far, anyway — seems unlikely to break out of the pack of “green” advertising that, as The Times reported last week, is making consumers bored and skeptical.

Mr. Gore is not trying to cash in on worries about the environment with the kinds of ads that consumers see as smug and insincere. But that just makes it more important for them to have an impact.

With gas over $4 and summer heating up, people are ready to listen. Mr. Gore could grab them with something visceral and unforgettable, like the crying Indian who deplored pollution in the ’70s, the egg in a frying pan that was your brain on drugs. He could use a new Smokey Bear or finger-pointing Uncle Sam. Instead he has a couch Newt.

The trick, too, is setting the right tone: too hot and people recoil, too cool and they ignore you, too boring and they nod off. Message modulation has tripped Mr. Gore up before.

There are plenty of planetary opinion leaders who could help him out: the greatest advertisers and filmmakers, pop-song hook specialists, the leaders of great faiths and movements. Get George Lois, the pope, Carole King, Neil Sedaka,, Nelson Mandela and Steven Spielberg in a room with whoever handled the Axe body spray contract, the one that somehow got millions of men in their 20s to obsess about personal odor management. Then you might have something.

Al Gore's New Logo, Steven Heller, April 6.

HOW do you get people really riled up about the environment? That is the challenge faced by Al Gore, who this year donated his $750,000 Nobel Peace Prize award (and personal matching funds) to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit advocacy group he founded to prevent further global warming. To create a promotional campaign, which started last week, Mr. Gore commissioned the Martin Agency, a Richmond, Va., advertising firm known for its clever campaigns for Geico insurance. It asked Brian Collins, whose strategic branding firm in New York -- Collins: -- created the identity and overall design program for the campaign.

Here is the logo, which is the centerpiece of the campaign. A logo is routinely the most difficult component to design because it is so important, and usually the client wants to be closely involved. An effective logo is a kind of calculus, the sum of disparate parts that adds up to a memorable image or icon. In this case, the logo is something of a risk because it is neither the name nor initials of the organization but a visual pun on the words We and Me.

Does it succeed in being a distinctive mnemonic? We'll be in a better position to judge when we know if Mr. Gore's organization has picked up steam and created a buzz. WHY WE? The alliance needed a simple graphic idea "because it had to cross every boundary and cross every political view," said Mr. Collins, who found the conceptual solution in a passage from Mr. Gore's recent book, "Assault on Reason": "Our first expression as a nation -- 'We the People' -- made it clear where the ultimate source of authority lay."

In that phrase of the Constitution, Mr. Collins found his graphic element. ''We not only have to work together to solve the climate crisis, but we have to call, loudly, for our political and business leaders to get involved, too,'' Mr. Collins said.

WHY ME? When the logo is turned upside down, you see the ME in WE. Mr. Collins felt this was both a clever and profound expression of the campaign's ambition. "What's good is that the idea of 'me' -- and personal initiative -- still lives inside the idea of 'we,'" he says. It is also a word game that forces the "reader" to decipher, and, once that is accomplished, makes the logo even more memorable.

TYPOGRAPHY Mr. Collins said he was interested in achieving the clarity of 1960's Swiss/Modernist poster design. But those characteristic typefaces, like Helvetica, were very cold. A typographer, Chester Jenkins, was asked to create a new typeface for the alliance's campaign. Mr. Collins said he wanted a typeface that was ''friendlier'' than that of the Swiss posters. The new typeface, with small, more rounded gestures, is little bit quirky, but has a curiously warm appearance, too. Moreover, the letter 'w' clearly looks like an upside down 'm'.

SHAPE The circle frames the words, but it also symbolizes that the climate crisis affects everyone on the planet.

BRIGHT GREEN What other color says ''green'' better than, well, green? The vivid, practically lime-green color for the logo suggests an inviting and optimistic attitude that fits well with the alliance's Web site, which is called

Sources: The Martin Agency (Mike Hughes, Sean Riley, Ty Harper, Raymond McKinney, Matt Williams); Collins: (Brian Collins, John Moon, Mickey Pangilinan).