Al Gore - Ad Salesman

Would he come? Would he come? Would he come? was the speculation after Al Gore was named Nobel Peace Prize winner yesterday morning. Conventional wisdom said he would because this audience of leading advertisers was one he wants to reach. He came, greeted by a standing ovation, and he delivered a compelling ad sales story for Current TV and the companion Web site that's launching on Monday.

Dressed all in black, Gore was clearly the rock star of this gathering.

He delivered an unabashed welcome to all advertisers to try out Current's brand of viewer-created advertising messages (VCams), Gore proved funny, self-deprecating, and awash in statistics about the Current reach with the youth demo and observations that its viewers prefer Vcams over traditional spots by 9 to 1.

Current's platform, Gore maintained, gives advertisers the best of both worlds: brand control and zero production costs. When Current issues a "brief" for viewer-generated ads, those selected get $1,000. The marketer makes the final decision. Meanwhile, advertisers who like their spots enough to spread them beyond Current pay the creator $50K.

Among the one-liners he got off: "I'm a recovering politician ... on about step 9."

Outside the Ballroom, he declined my direct question about whether he would run.

Pity the guys from Liberty Mutual, insurance marketers having to follow ......

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