Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Chevrolet Volt (electric car)

Monday, 8 January 2007; 9:14

Some firms just aren’t getting it. One car receiving a great deal of attention at the current Detroit motor show is the Chevrolet Volt, an all-electric concept vehicle that looks really cool. Given the automobile and the sensation it has created, one would think Chevrolet might also make certain to provide the car a decent web site. Wrong!

Instead, we get a web site for the car that is as silent as a church mouse during vespers. Get a clue, Chevrolet! You have also made another mistake The Distillery too often sees with Flash-powered sites–no images which can be easily linked and displayed. Now wouldn’t it be nice if readers not only heard about your head-turning concept car, but could also find a picture of it here?

Home page:  Chevrolet Volt

Image not readily provided by manufacturer! Duh!!!


Steve Irwin (1962-2006) & Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

Monday, 4 September 2006; 12:15

Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent.  ~Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

This posting is not about Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. The untimely death of Steve IrwinThe Crocodile Hunter, reminded me of his television predecessor, Marlin Perkins and his television program, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. No greater homage can be paid the The Crocodile Hunter than by including him in what must surely be the most exclusive of all Explorers’ Clubs. There can be little doubt that both Marlin Perkins and Jacques Yves Cousteau are waiting to greet Mr. Irwin at the club’s entrance and extend to him all rights and privileges thereof.  

Thank you for teaching us, Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. Every living animal on this earth sheds tears for you this day, especially your beloved crocodiles. May your wife and children find a measure of peace in this time of great sorrow and loss.  

Home page:  Australia Zoo – Home of The Crocodile Hunter
Home page:  Cousteau Society
Home page:  Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thursday, 3 August 2006; 14:03

How much power is there in video for persons holding political offices? One person who certainly knows is The Terminator, now the governor of California. (Another was former President Ronald Reagan. This President? He’s clueless. Did you see him talking to Britain’s PM Blair with a mouth full of food? I know his mother taught him better than that.)

Have a peek at this video of Governor Schwarzenegger, a.k.a. The People’s Governor, visiting heat-beleaguered farmers in California’s Central Valley region within the past week or so. (He’s not wasting time getting those videos online, is he? As noted, he knows the power of video.) You might next have a gander at Gov. Arnold announcing the creation of the California Hall of Fame.

Great PR, Gov. Arnold. You learned a great deal from saying nothing throughout entire movies. Wait a minute. I’m mistaken. One time you did say, “I’ll be back.”

Home page: California Office of the Governor

CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Britain's PM Blair photo graphic

Scott Tissue

Wednesday, 26 July 2006; 13:00

I love the unexpected. It keeps life from being overly boring. But what could be more boring than toilet tissue, especially the “cheap” brand? I can think of few other products lower on any such list.

However, Scott Tissue has found a most interesting way of alleviating TP boredom. It has the Know Your Flushes game at its Scott Tissue Clog Clinic, where you will also find clog clinic demos.

But again, a toilet bowl game? A tissue clog clinic? Yes, once you see it all, you also may find yourself wondering what focus group sat in on that marketing research. However, they did find a way to make consumers think about toilet paper other than when they find themselves looking for a charming and comfortable seat.

Scott Tissue Clog Clinic demos (video only):

  • Dissolvability demo
  • Dissolvability testing
  • Flushing station
  • Home page: Scott Brand

    Scott Tissue graphic

    B-SPAN (The World Bank)

    Tuesday, 11 July 2006; 14:45

    Once again, we see a NGO or not-for-profit which is fully in-step with the times. In fact, below is an excerpt from The World Bank itself about the mission of its B-SPAN webcasting service:

    B-SPAN is the webcasting service of the World Bank Group, presenting seminars, workshops and conferences on a variety of sustainable development and poverty reduction issues via streaming video.

    The World Bank and its partners play host to numerous seminars, workshops and conferences where the world’s leading development experts and practitioners discuss the latest developments in a range of sectors, including agriculture, sustainable development, finance, poverty reduction, health, education, governance, environment, energy, infrastructure, rural and urban development, and more. Through B-SPAN, the discussions, debates, and key points of these events can be preserved and made available to a worldwide audience.

    B-SPAN webcasts are free to view. World Bank staff, academics, students, researchers, journalists, NGO representatives, and members of the public-at-large can virtually “attend” events from anywhere in the world where the Internet is accessible. By bringing World Bank events to the computer screen, B-SPAN is an invaluable tool for the World Bank’s missions of promoting transparency and sharing knowledge.

    B-SPAN (presentations listing by title) is clearly not afraid to address some difficult and thorny issues. Below are only a few rich media presentations from The World Bank. Now, if only Nicholas Negroponte can get those $100 laptops to the people who might benefit from the possible outcomes of some of this content. And finally, I draw your attention to Ten Things You Never Knew About The World Bank (non-multimedia). Indeed, who knew?

    Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
    The Ecosystem Approach to Natural Resources Management
    Working for a World Free of Poverty

    World Bank graphic 01

    World Bank graphic 02


    Friday, 7 July 2006; 14:31

    Somebody got this one right. Who cares if you’re really not doing anything?* It’s like that air guitar you have over there in the corner. (If you can honestly say that you don’t have one in a corner somewhere, you might wish to check in with reality.) And, it’s Friday. Take a ride on Can-Am’s Bombardier ATV. When you finish, download yourself a video. Now, go home.

    * For some truly inane and silly fun, and if you have a fast computer and a fast hand, click back and forth between Film, Return To Glory, and Historical Timeline for a weird and slightly trippy ride.

    Can-Am vehicle

    Save The Tiger Fund

    Thursday, 6 July 2006; 12:29

    PR is as important to a firm’s image, profits, and longevity as any other component of the marketing/promotional mix. That is why The Distillery is perplexed to learn that the Save The Tiger Fund is largely sponsored by Exxon Mobil. There was no mention of it at the Exxon Mobil site when it was reviewed. Or, maybe it was just very well hidden.

    Either way, someone is missing the boat on this one in not making it more visible. Exxon Mobil needs all the good press it can muster. Are some large companies so disjointed that all too frequently the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing? Apparently so.

    For more information about the Save The Tiger Fund, visit After all, tigers are very cool cats and all that jive.

    Save The Tiger Fund logo

    Exxon Mobil

    Wednesday, 21 June 2006; 9:19

    One little mistake and you are forever damned.* That is the position Exxon Mobil finds itself in many, many years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill (text only). Also, oil companies as a rule are thought to be taking undue advantage of oil supplies and politics as gasoline reaches and exceeds $3.00 per gallon in the U.S.A. Those reasons, and likely several more, are why we see Exxon primarily focusing on public relations in its most immediately accessible online video. However, it is boring. If Exxon is out to win the hearts of customers with that video, it has again run aground.

    Looking more closely at Exxon, we uncover a video library that contains no videos! Surely with those decidedly obscene oil revenues and profits, they could have found a few dollars for even a modicum of online rich media content. But then again, maybe they don’t care. After all, fuel is very price inelastic and Exxon may perceive no need for actual end-user promotions. We are going to drive, regardless of what Exxon charges.

    Thinking there must be black gold somewhere at the site, we drill deeper and tap into Exxon’s Univation Technologies. There we find little special except for an Options link in the lower-left corner. Click on it to see options for normal vs. full screen views, sound on/off, and even image quality. The last, we assume, is for older and slower computers without the graphics-handling power needed for the very best display quality. That is something not before seen here at The Distillery. But again, if that is designed to restore a still tarnished image, it simply doesn’t work. Exxon Mobil’s corporate image remains very rusty.

    Fill'er up!
    Exxon Mobile logo

    * Who am I to cast stones after initially posting “Mobile” instead of “Mobil?” Exxon, I feel your pain!

    Boeing 787 Dreamliner

    Friday, 26 May 2006; 12:47

    Some industries get all the glamor and press. Computers come to mind first with seemingly everyone anxiously looking forward to any new offerings from Microsoft or Apple. But what about other industries with new product announcements that are no less important–and possibly more so? So although it is long at 37 minutes, this is how it is done in the airline industry, with a Boeing announcement that its new fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner has been approved for sale to potential buyers.

    As noted, the video above is quite long. And given it is Friday with everyone trying to do as little as possible in as little time as possible, you might instead enjoy this “trendsetter video” (5 minutes) that provides an overall description of the Dreamliner.

    And should you still just be killing time until 5 PM, then take another five minutes and view the Dreamliner’s interior. I do suggest you at least view this last video. Significant thought and design have gone into what is indeed a very different looking interior. Both inside and out, the Dreamliner is a beautiful aeroplane. I can only wonder what the Wright Brothers might say if they could see it.

    Boeing 787 Dreamliner

    iPod Your BMW

    Thursday, 25 May 2006; 10:56

    Maybe it’s something genetic for which medical science might one day have a cure, but I simply do not get whole iPod thing. Isn’t it simply an updated Walkman? But, that’s just me and I am clearly in a Luddite-esque minority.

    After all, when my favorite automobile, BMW, teams up with what what has to be the world’s trendiest gadget, the iPod, I must be the clueless one. But, I will keep trying to “get it,” and just maybe one day I will. (Hey, I still have an honest-to-goodness LP turntable. And a darn fine one at that.)

    To watch the demonstration video, first click on Menu (if necessary), then New iPod Interface Coming Soon, and finally Watch Video.

    From BMW:

    The new iPod interface will…allow users to incorporate their iPods directly into their car’s sound system, but with the newly available capability to sort their music by playlist, artist, album, genre, podcast, and finally, a random selection of 600 songs from the user library. Artist, song title and album will appear in the Display Monitor. The new integration means that BMW drivers can control their music through their existing audio system and multifunction steering wheel thus allowing drivers to access their entire music library, shuffle songs, skip between tracks and adjust volume more easily.

    iPod BMW Z4 M Coupe
    2007 Production BMW Hybrid Engine
    (Yes, that is indeed the newly developed BMW hybrid engine that will power some 2007 model BMWs.)

    Lexus RX Hybrid

    Thursday, 20 April 2006; 12:47

    Obviously, the hybrid automobile is not a passing fad. And, oil at $72 per barrel is not about to change that. That means even luxury cars are entering the game. Have a look at the new 2006 Lexus RX Hybrid, the world’s first luxury hybrid.

    And while you are thinking about the luxury hybrid car you plan to purchase, maybe you should better understand how hybrid technology works.

    (Important note: You will need to install the Viewpoint player to view the hybrid technology demo. There are those who do not like it. However, it seems innocuous enough to me. My only problem with it all is that Lexus could have done the same thing with Macromedia Flash. I am baffled as to why they did not. And for that, they lose a few points.)

    Lexux logo

    Duet Sport Fabric Care System (Whirlpool)

    Monday, 17 April 2006; 12:16

    Although I know doing laundry is far from one of the most exciting things we all must do (or have someone else do), surely Whirlpool could have found a spokesperson without the entirely deadpan voice-over heard in the online promotion of its [supposedly] innovative Duet Sport Fabric Care System, or in other words — a washer and dryer.

    Why waste an excellent opportunity to make a chore few enjoy into at least an attention-grabbing online promotion instead of one that is even more boring than actually doing the laundry? This particular Whirlpool promotion, desperately grabbing at the internet and a offering a mediocre multimedia demonstration, is a wash-out.

    Whirlpool logo