Monday, March 31, 2008

Better ads, please

This is Al Gore's first ad in a multi-million dollar campaign to raise the profile of climate change.

And... I'm pissed off. Not really, but it's hard for me to take this ad seriously. The whole premise of the ad is that action "can't wait", but 2 of the 3 points of comparison are obviously wrong, and the third one arguably so.

1) America didn't wait for someone else to storm the beaches at Normandy? Well, they did have help in the form of the Canadian and British Armies, plus there's the little fact that America was late for the damn war.

2) America didn't wait for someone else to give civil rights to blacks? Well, in the obvious sense this is true because only America can define the rights given to American citizens. Nevertheless, it's true that Blacks remained 2nd-class citizens in America far longer than they did in other countries. Let's not even get in to the whole "ended slavery 50 years after the British Empire" thing.

3) Okay, this one is passable. But it's still worth pointing out that, indeed, the goal of landing a man on the moon "waited" until America had been bested enough times by the Soviet space program.

It's an ad with a purpose, and it serves it well: appealing to American exceptionalism and turning that towards the goal of preserving a liveable planet. But man it gets on my nerves.


Adam said...

You are right but, the ad has a point. We need to do something just nobody can be bothered.

peter claussen said...

Don't be mad. The ad isn't aimed at us but at U.S..