So I’m thinking about Al Gore receiving the Nobel Peace Prize this week. Not from a "Save-The-Earth" or "Al-Is-Our-New-Saviour" perspective, but from a marketing perspective.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2006 TED Conference where Al (it just seems like we should all be on a first-name basis with him now) shared his "An Inconvenient Truth" speech and introduced his movie production team several months before his movie of the same name was released.
Honestly, we were all pretty amazed at the Al Gore we heard. Not stiff. Not the wooden caricature of a Vice-President we’d all come to know and make fun of. He was actually loose and, more surprising, FUNNY. Watch his 18-minute talk and you’ll see what I mean.
This roomful of 1000 of the world’s smartest and most important movers-and-shakers was entranced by Al’s plea to save the world right now. (Truthfully, I should say it was a roomful of 999 of the world’s smartest and most important movers-and-shakers and ME.) And despite the fact I never voted for the Clinton-Gore ticket and I knew there was more than a little spin to his "facts," I was swayed by his message. To be sure, this is an incredibly important issue.
This was not the Al Gore I knew as Vice-President. This was a new Al Gore. Different. Better. Wittier. More confident. This was a reinvented Al Gore.
From a marketing perspective, I’ve watched reinvented Al become a force to be reckoned with. He’s found his calling. Or in marketing terms, he’s found his niche. And this new niche has rewarded Al handsomely. A July 2007 Fast Company story said:
"Financial disclosure documents released before the 2000 election put
the Gore family’s net worth at $1 million to $2 million. After years of
public service–and four kids needing high-priced educations–Al and
Tipper used to fret occasionally about money. Not anymore. They have a
new multimillion-dollar home in a tony section of Nashville and a
family home in Virginia, and have recently bought a multimillion-dollar
condo at the St. Regis condo/hotel in San Francisco. Available data
indicate a net worth well in excess of $100 million."
It’s clear to me Al’s strength is not in politics, but right where he’s standing right now.
He has found a Niche that wants his Message and is willing to pay handsomely for it. And I think he should stay right where he is, because that’s where he’s making the biggest difference. I don’t want Al Gore to be President.
This is MML (Marketing Message Learned) for all of us.