Archive for category Co2 and air travel

Powwownow vs the airlines - an update

Following their excellent piece of guerrilla advertising, conference calling company Powwownow have kept up their competitive campaign, this time targeting British Airways.

They have launched a ’spoof’ airline called Fly Powwownow, and as their first ’special offer’, are offering 5,000 free conference calls to small businesses. This is in reponse to a B.A. promotion earlier this year, where they offered 5,000 business class flights to businesses.

Again, the message is good: special offers on flights encourage people to fly more and maybe unnnecessarily, thus generating additional emissions. More importantly, however, Powwownow’s use of the word ‘free’ is important here, as B.A.’s offer isn’t really free at all, once you take into account travel to the airport plus unavoidable airport taxes.

So hats off to Powwownow for keeping up the fight, for giving us new ways to save money and CO2 emissions oh, and thanks for the free conference calls - I’m certainly taking them up on the offer.

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Guerilla Advertising hits back at the airlines

I was reading Metro this morning and came upon an excellent piece of ‘guerilla’ advertising from conference call company Powwownow, in response to a recent advertising campaign from airline flybe (the image below shows the original ad and the response):

Powwownow guerilla ad

There has been a recent ‘push’ by airlines, targeting businesses with the message that face to face meetings are better, and that it’s always worth flying to meetings. Boris Johnson even flew to New York FOR ONE DAY to back up this message… hmmm a great use of CO2 then by London’s generally green mayor. This one, however, hit a nerve with Powwownow, specifically with the blatant (in red), and I reckon difficult to defend message: ‘Conference Calls DON’T win business’.

I love their response: a defaced version of the flybe ad that clearly highlights the benefits of conference calls: much much cheaper, and no CO2. Ok, if we want to be pernickety, there are some CO2 emissions involved in a conference call, but in comparison with travelling to the airport, taking the plane, travelling to the meeting, travelling back from the meeting, taking the plane back, and travelling home… well, there’s no comparison is there?

In fact, the contrast is so absurd, they’ve also launched a new ‘airline’ - highlighting the cost differences!

I’m the first one to admit that there are still reasons to take the plane, but as a business person it really winds me up when the airlines in their desperation try to use flawed business messages to justify their existence and encourage more people to fly. Conference calls do win business, and there are many more occasions where it would be just as efficient, cheaper, and better for the planet to have a conference call rather than getting on a plane. Instead, they need to focus on the real task ahead: how to reduce emissions from air travel, and dramatically, rather than trying to hoodwink a more and more well-informed audience.

So good on you Powwownow for fighting back in your own little way - let’s set up a call to discuss next steps!

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When you fly, do a poo, and reduce your CO2

Over the time I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve often picked up on and suggested original ways to reduce your CO2 emissions - some strange but true, some merely fanciful. Today, however, I think I’ve heard one of the most original and bizarre, and what’s more it makes sense, even if it makes a teeny difference.

According to an article I read in the Daily Mail, Japanese Airline ANA is asking all passengers to relieve themselves before boarding their flights, in order to reduce their body weight and thus reduce CO2 emissions. A quick calculation suggests that on a plane of 150 people, this could constitute an average weight saving of…… 63.7 kg. Hmm, that’s one small person, or just over two maximum weight suitcases. Not exactly a huge saving then.

Here’s the point where we move on to the classic debate: do we wait until the big solutions arrive, or do we take every chance we’ve got to make things better, however small the difference? Well for me, if it costs nothing, then it’s worth it, and I for one will happily try to empty my tank before boarding any flight in the future.


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