Uncomfortably aware of the collision course that our global energy demand and our planet's natural resources were following, I took the opportunity to take a closer look.
As a father and a resident of planet earth (for the most part), I was heartened by the collateral good that was being realized for emerging and struggling economies. And by the significant investment being made in pursuit of alternative energy sources.
As an ad guy, I found it hard to ignore the challenge of swaying opinions inside the beltway - and of convincing everyone else, myself included, that maybe we should hate Exxon just a little bit less.
To that end, I changed the focus from oil to “energy technology”, the attitude from “selling it” to “the responsibility to provide it”, and the story from negative past to future positive.
I made TV commercials about gas supply, new domestic resources, and energy efficiency. I created video installations at airports that promoted ExxonMobil initiatives like global malaria eradication through “World Malaria Day”, and introduced the concept of “Energy Technology” (installations at JFK used 20 large screens each programed as part of one continuous moving image the entire length of the people mover - the first time this had ever been done).
More complex programs, like the Math and Science Education initiative, were demonstrated through the context of simpler interests. Like the installation at the Washington National’s Stadium that engaged fans (and other strategically important visitors) in math and science experiences like analyzing their pitch or swing, and the forces that effect their ball’s journey. Y’know, your basic v=x/t, that sort of stuff…