Back in the US after a great trip to the UK. One thing which struck me is that the UK has gone ‘carbon footprint’ crazy. Companies are all falling over themselves to promote that they are carbon neutral, editorial is jam-packed with features about reducing your personal carbon footprint, articles about geothermal heating, how to survive without a car etc. If you want coverage, think about how to link what you are doing to that megatrend. But it needs to be done carefully since there will be a backlash against firms which just pay lipservice to being greener. Phrase of the day came from Clive Booth, who termed this ‘greenwashing’, which i love.
Traveling in today i notice Microsoft’s Office 2007 ads. Boy do they need a new ad firm. The Vista ones about a ‘jolt to the operating system’ were dire (didn’t even tell you what was new or why – just the logo in an Aero bubble and that odd strap). The Office 2007 ones picture a guy on the way to work: ‘Day one – the next 8 hours will be very, very different.’ You bet they will since all the menus will be different and you’ll spend a whole bunch of extra time learning how to do what you could easily do yesterday. I know companies often advertise their insecurities (Shell being green for example) but this seems like an odd angle to choose.
This was my first trip to the UK with my son, Jake. Traveling with an infant puts a new perspective on traveling woes. My friend Ezra Roizen summed it up well in an email to me – “11 hours on a plane with a baby is one of those special experiences that everyone should enjoy at least once before they die – which will probably be all the sooner because of it.” To his credit, Jake was brilliant but I now sympathize with the poor souls in the bulkhead seats.