Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Bizz

Growing up with a father degreed in environmental conservation, I learned about “saving the earth” at a very young age. Throwing a Bazooka Bubble Gum wrapper on the ground led to more punishment than fighting with my little brother. My school projects focused on acid rain, recycling and being green and my first job out of college was as a tree-hugging lobbyist.

(Greenpeace Representatives)

With this week’s UN summit meeting on climate change taking place in NYC, many organizations staged events about the serious impact our weather system could have on future generations. From Monday’s fake New York Post “We’re Screwed” cover story to the largest global film premiere for the eco-drama, “The Age of Stupid.”

(Kofi Annan speaking to the audience after the film)

The film stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite as the last person alive in the devastated world of 2055, watching archive footage from 2008 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance? When I read about the film, childhood memories flooded my brain like a broken water dam. As a former public relations director, what excited me even more than the film’s concept was its innovative marketing strategy. Let’s take a look:

• Premieres for one night only and is broadcast simultaneously via satellite to more than 700 locations in over 60 countries.
• Panel discussion with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
• Celebrity guests and political leaders will arrive on the “green” carpet via boats, bikes, rickshaws, sailboats and solar cars
• Kicks-off with a green carpet bicycle-powered performance by Moby and culminates with an acoustic act from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke
• Guests include Heather Graham, Gillian Anderson, Steven Baldwin, Nikki Blonsky and world and environmental leaders from Ireland, Maldives, Copenhagen, Netherlands, Indonesia, Kenya and Quebec
• 1,500 plastic water bottles hung from the solar-powered tent, representing the amount of bottles consumed every second.

As I stood on the “green” carpet made of recyclable soda bottles, I had the opportunity to ask several of the invited guests, what advice they would give to Pomp readers. Here’s what they had to say:

“Drive a smart car. Don’t worry about tractor trailors forcing you off the road, just cut them off and they will never bother you again,” Steven Baldwin.

(Actress Heather Graham)

“Conserve energy by unplugging things. Sing a petition and ban together.” Heather Graham (Hangover)

(Actress Nikki Blonsky)

“As my mother always told me, if you aren’t using it, turn it off. Turn off your computer, lights and television.” Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray and upcoming MTV series, Vailmont)

“Use filtered water instead of recyclable bottles.” Donny Klang (Making the Band Season 3)

("The Age of Stupid" Lizzy Gillet, Producer and Franny Armstrong, Director)

“This film has been screened in ten parliaments all around the world and people have formed campaign groups, stopped flying and are getting solar panels. A committed call to action and signing of petitions is important.” Director, Franny Armstrong

We also met up for the second time with the Survivaballs (first sighting was during fashion week outside of Christian Dior), the new balloon-shaped sumo-wrestling outfit that claims to protect CEOs from climate change even when their bottom dollar says “No.”

(Survivaball character)

Even if the message of saving our environment disintegrates in the hands of government, one thing I’ve learned for certain is that the lessons taught in my youth have never faded away.

- Lori Bizzoco
Photos: Jakes


Anonymous said...

Very interesting marketing approach. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Growing up with a cheapskate, uh, frugal step-father, I learned about "having the hot water cut off mid-shower" at a somewhat young age. (That said, he paid for me to go to college so all that frugality had its dividends.)