In his keynote speech this evening at PromaxBDA: The Conference (for entertainment marketing professionals), Al Gore took the opportunity to tip his hat to creativity.
“I’m happy to be talking to a community of creators, thinkers, and storytellers,” said the former vice president, who is co-founder and chairman of Current TV. Illustrating his speech with a PowerPoint presentation, he noted that this group has "a great opportunity to educate and inspire the next generation of creators.”
His speech, at least initially, played well to the crowd of television, advertising, and branding honchos. By the end of the 30 minutes, however, his overall thesis had gotten a little muddled. A great deal of time was spent extolling the virtues of innovation in very broad terms (Gore said, for instance, that he viewed the creative classes, in a variety of industries, as an engine of the American economy), and lines such as, "Most of the value of our economy is in the form of information” were in abundance. He also spent a good deal of time discussing the layout of physical spaces that, in his opinion, lend themselves to ingenuity. (“At Apple there is an emphasis on creative spaces where people share ideas and walk past each other,” he said.)
It wasn’t until the floor was opened to questions that he seemed to hit his stride. The first query, a lob from an admiring audience member, asked him to discuss climate change. Gore’s eyes lit up, and he dissected the issue in great detail, going well beyond the allotted time.
Those expecting a discussion of Current TV, which premiered Countdown With Keith Olbermann last Monday, were disappointed; there was relatively brief mention of the network.