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EditorialsUp Front 06/14

Up Front 06/14

In the world of politics a great sales pitch can shift millions of voters and send them off to the polls brimming with enthusiasm about their future. Or, in the case of the recent European elections, a pretty incomprehensible sales pitch by a man waving a pint at the other end of the bar, can launch a group of disgruntled voters and cause them to lash out to make their voice heard. Whether it’s buying duvets off the back of a lorry or cheap cigarettes from “a mate I know down the pub” it’s amazing how much a sales pitch can make us react. One of the best I have heard recently was for ‘Solar Freakin’ Roadways’. A seven minute video produced to promote technology that replaces roads, motorways, paths, car parks, bike paths, driveways and outdoor play areas with solar panels. Not just the normal day to day solar panels that have become an accepted part of modern living, but “smart, microprocessing, interlocking, hexagonal solar units” that have embedded LED lights for a myriad of uses including signage and layout. The panels are covered in a new tempered glass material that has been designed and tested to meet all “load and traction requirements.” The main point of the sales pitch is that the new technology could solve the world’s energy problems and it calls for a grass roots effort by concerned and inspired people to donate to the company that has invented the technology, so that they can begin to produce their products on a large scale. “For the first time in human history” it says “we have the power to do what nature has done since the beginning of life on this planet began; harness the power of the sun to fuel our pursuits.” Now that’s a powerful sales pitch. So much so, that despite being ignored by major corporations, investment funds and industry heavyweights, and the launch of an oil industry offensive against the idea, at the time of writing the company has raised $1.5M on the back of the video. Alas, and somehow inevitably, the biggest response has been the scramble by political lobby groups and PR firms to sign up the guy who wrote and produced the film.    FB

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