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Wind Turbines: From Popularity To Reality

Wind Turbines: From Popularity To Reality
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Joel Horowitz
  • 25 august 2008

The wind turbines that we’re most familiar with are tall, slim, shiny and sleek. And while they only account for about 1% of America’s power generation, they’re being popularized by presidential nominees McCain & Obama, General Electric’s eco-friendly Olympics broadcast (even through their controversial air-conditioned outdoor set {can you blame NBC’s anchors for wanting to stay semi-comfortable in buisness suits, wearing makeup and under hot camera lights?}) and petroleum companies like BP & Exxon Mobil that are attempting to re-invent their brands on a greener note.

Mary Jo Murphy at the New York Times brings up an interesting point while interviewing Allen Adamson, director of corporate branding firm, Landor Associates:  In reality, wind turbines aren’t doing all that much as far as power generation goes, but people think they are.

The windmill, Mr. Adamson said, has “transcended its literal functionality to become an iconic symbol of the ideal.” These reedy beacons are “almost branded icons of hopeful, we-can-beat-them better mousetraps,” but there is a risk in overuse, and in offering a promise too long undelivered. Today the icon has potential, he said. “Right now it stands for ‘Don’t confuse me with the facts.’ ” But “it’s at the tipping point right now,” unless people go ahead and make good on the promise.

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