Monday, July 19, 2010

JWT AnxietyIndex: A surprising message from J.R. Ewing: ‘Shine, baby, shine’

Larry Hagman, best known as oilman J.R. Ewing in the hit 1980s television show Dallas, is now the face of SolarWorld, a German solar energy company. Long a solar energy enthusiast, Hagman recently told The New York Times he was motivated by the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico to speak out. He added: “Since Sarah Palin is saying, ‘Drill, baby, drill,’ I’m saying, ‘Shine, baby, shine.’”

That’s just what the actor says, with his trademark cackle, in a spot for SolarWorld’s new advertising campaign. We see J.R. looking disapprovingly at a portrait of his younger self in an oil field while a background TV screen gurgles with oil-spill images. He walks out of his house and we see a roof lined with solar panels. SolarWorld does an interesting thing here: It’s not only tapping into anxieties around the Gulf spill and the target consumers’ likely aversion to the “Drill, baby, drill” mind-set but is also showing how perspectives can change, even if J.R. is fictional.
JWT AnxietyIndex: Brand Answers for an Anxious World by Christine Miranda - New York

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