The ubiquitous Morgan Freeman
Spokesmen and/or women… you know, those people who become the commercial face and voice for faceless, impersonal corporations. You’ve seen them on TV and heard them over the radio: the reassuring Dennis Haybert for Allstate Insurance; the cocky William Shatner for Priceline; Mike Rowe for Ford; Morgan Freeman for just about everybody else. (Apparently he's #5 on the list of the Top Ten Most Trusted Celebrities. And happy to do voiceovers. Nice work if you can get it!)
Hopeiary vs. Olympic fencer
Well, Dow, the chemical conglomerate, has got a new spokesman with neither a face nor a voice. In fact, it’s a bit of shrubbery. Hopeiary (yes, that's what it's called - ugh!) is a giant green biped made of hedges, created by the ad agency Draftfcb in Chicago. (Perhaps the admen are Monty Python fans?) Hopeiary even has his/its own website! (Is he/it planning on being the most interesting shrub in the world?) If you’ve watched even a tidbit of the Olympics, you’ve probably seen a commercial with this anthropomorphic topiary, walking around London, stumbling into Olympic athletes. Apparently he symbolizes the planet with "its own Olympic dream"—which is to not get totally, irreparably wrecked by humans. Dow's environmental history as a global corporate citizen is checkered at best, including its links with the horrendous gas leak at a pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, 28 years ago, which killed almost 3,800 people. (It bought out Union Carbide, which owned the factory at the time.) So Hopeiary seems like more than a bit of greenwashing to me…
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