American consumers beware! You are the targets of our light-hearted, media-savvy campaign to promote a renewable energy future for the United States.
The Energy Farm will pursue its goal of a sustainable energy future for the United States through lean and smart media placements and public relations activities. These are to include press releases, public service announcements, magazine ads, sponsorship of Public Radio programming, personal availability for interviews and debates â€“ in addition to the aforementioned educational outreach. Our message is to be upbeat, emphasizing the positive potentials of a clean energy conversion.
We trust our friends in the broader environmental movement to emphasize the negative consequences of undisciplined fossil fuel consumption. The Energy Farm approach is different: We will present the changeover to clean energy as a matter of national security, economic stability and personal freedom.
Our appeal is to the patriotism of Americans, rather than their environmental sensitivities; and this approach is certain to bring new hearts and hands into the growing consensus.
We seek to draw Americans to this cause with a positive message. In the game of carrot-and-stick, the Energy Farm is all about the carrot. We intend to leave the gloom-and-doom to others, and emphasize the personal satisfaction and sense of freedom to be gained through energy independence.
This is advocacy for the iPod generation. We will re-cast the sleepy realm of renewable energy as something exciting and cutting-edge â€“ the look and feel of the future. It is vital to our endeavor that we impress upon America’s youth the significant role alternative energy will play in their immediate future.
Renewable energy gets a makeover
Consider the psychology of solar panels. To most Americans, they are out of sight and out of mind. The justifications for implementing solar and other forms of renewable energy are well-reasoned, logical, and practical. In other words, they are totally boring.
How often is the American consumer entirely well-reasoned, logical, and practical? The way to get renewable energy into the American collective unconscious is through the intuitive hemisphere of the brain. Consider the following statements:
- Wind energy is a gift from God
- Installing solar panels is patriotic
- Driving a fuel-efficient car is patriotic
- Energy independence is American independence
- The coolest people make their own energy
- Are you part of the solution?
- Divest from Saudi Arabia
Energy Farm Original Experiment: The “Solar Is Sexy” Campaign. A shameless ploy to associate solar energy with beauty and sex appeal. Actors, actresses and fashion models who have expressed a personal interest in environmental causes will be invited to pose for stylish photographs against a backdrop of solar panels. Ad text will consist of the words “Solar is Sexy”, along with small-print links to the Solar Server and participating sponsors.
Energy Farm Original Experiment: Solar Panels at Home Depot. The Energy Farm will pursue major purchasing distributors (Home Depot, Wal-Mart, et al) to use their bulk buying capacity to purchase and stock solar energy appliances, pursuant to the integration of solar equipment into the U.S. consumer economy. Participating companies gain marketing leverage from the environmental angle.
The Energy Farm will create and distribute monthly press releases, emphasizing news and breakthroughs in renewable energy technology and tracking changes in the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy compared to fossil fuels. These will be distributed to national media services.
The Energy Farm will produce a monthly email newsletter, distributed free of charge via the Solar Server. The “Energy Farm News” will keep everyone apprised of plans and activities at the Energy Farm. It will reflect a tasteful blend of prudent advocacy and wry humor, and help keep the issues relevant to our mission in the public eye.
The Energy Farm will produce an annual publication â€“ “The Energy Farmer’s Almanac.” This modern takeoff on an old standard will include basic sunshine and rainfall statistics, charts and maps relevant to energy farming, weather trends expected into the next year, an index of state and federal incentives, and other practical information for the renewable energy investor. Woven throughout this useful data one will find humor, folkisms, cartoons, and commentary from the front lines of the renewable energy movement.
Ideally, such a publication would attract the interest of advertisers, whose placement fees would be directed towards the printing and free distribution of the Energy Farmer’s Almanac nationwide. In addition to sustaining itself financially, the Almanac will also contain an appendix of contact information for any and all NPOs working for a sustainable future, thus serving as a networking tool for all.
The Energy Farm would like to draw attention to sustainable energy issues by sponsoring programming on National Public Radio. These modest placements would present our website address, energyfarm.org, to a demographic we feel must play a pivotal role in the implementation of new energy technologies.
Where sponsorships and partnerships allow, the Energy Farm will pursue commercial media placement for its advocacy. If our message is to be impressed upon the American psyche, it must reach beyond the bounds of the public service announcement and into the realm of commercial media. Parents for Public Schools offers an outstanding example with its tasteful prime-time media placements. On the slightly-less-tasteful side, consider the effectiveness of the national teen anti-smoking campaign.
Given the resources, we would drive the sustainable energy message into prime-time television, commercial radio, print magazines and newspapers, MTV, VH1, CNN, Fox News, Time and Newsweek â€“ every popular media outlet our sponsorship would allow. The importance of a sustainable energy future must not be pushed aside by the cares of the day. These issues must be placed in the center of public view and kept there â€“ until the national debate has begun in earnest.