Climate Agreement BrandingPicture a scene from Madison Avenue, circa 1997.

“OK, team, here’s the brief. We have a planet. Beautiful blue ball. Happy inhabitants threatened with a global emissions crisis that could cook the whole thing like an egg. We need to brand a planetary climate treaty. A deal that will galvanize everyone from CEO’s to little old ladies into international action to save the day! It’s the pitch of a lifetime!! So what do we call it? I need ideas, people!”

“Uh… how about Kyoto…”

“Kyoto?? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Who in their green mind is going to rally behind the name of an obscure Japanese town that doesn’t even have a Whole Foods™ market? You’re FIRED! And I need a drink…”

I know branding can’t solve everything, but it’s no surprise that the headline ‘Canada withdraws from Kyoto’ is met with a shrug. Sounds like a failed minor military campaign from WW2. “Sorry, chief – we pulled out. It was just too boring there.”

It would have sounded much more dramatic if Canada had to announce they were pulling out of the “Save-Our-Planet Agreement”. Or that Harper moved to block the “Global Disaster Aversion Treaty”.

Nothing against the fine people of Kyoto, but even they must be feeling the backwash from the negative press the name of their fine city is receiving.

Now we have Durban. (“Rhymes with turban! Could be catchy….?” No?”) And yet another deal in the making. Next year, negotiations will begin on a new, legally binding accord that will be signed by 2015 and come into force by 2020.

So we have about 3 years to come up with a better brand to save the world.

Don Draper, where are you?

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