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Thought Leadership

Reading through the October issue of Wired magazine, I came across a thick ad insert printed on green paper with enough tactile pulpiness that it didn’t need the “created using 35% postconsumer waste. utilizing 100% hydroelectricity, eliminating 100,000 pounds of greenhouse gases… the soy in used in printing is naturally low in volatile organic compounds” text to deliver its environmental message. It was an ad for a severely encumbered American car company titled “Gas-friendly to gas-free”. It talks about the five things they are doing right now to “help us all do more and use less.” Only two of the five things are “not available for sale” because they are concept or test vehicles.

Of the three that are available today, how do they rank against the competition strictly in the area of fuel efficiency? A quick check shows that the advertiser doesn’t have a single vehicle on the Most/Least Fuel Efficient Car list, and has one of the best and one of the worst on the Most/Least Fuel Efficient Truck/Van/SUV List.

But that doesn’t matter because they are obviously thought leaders. Who cares about what their products can or can’t do for you today, you should buy from them and put them in Enchanted Octagons because it’s clear they know about our present and future problems, and they are thinking about them. While other companies are providing better products that you can buy today, they are thinking. And concept cars are cool, and should definitely have a greater effect on the overall perception of a product or technology than its actual utility.

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