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For the environmentally conscious, Arbor Electric Systems puts the competition in the shade

For the environmentally conscious, Arbor Electric Systems puts the competition in the shade 1. Audience: Interfering
  • 1. Audience: Interfering Westerners, gullible, soft-headed environmentalists,

revenue protection investigators from the state of West Bengal electricity authority

  • 2. Context : Villagers near Purulia, West Bengal are aiming to become energy

independent. Although they have no oil, coal or gas reserves, they do live in an area

of substantial forest. However, to turn this plentiful and renewable resource into a traditional fuel would take many millions of years. Furthermore, obtaining planning permission to construct a dam and hydroelectric source across the nearby river seems to be running to a similar timescale because villages situated upstream have tabled objections on grounds of nuisance (They would have to adjust to living under water). Ironically, the amount of paperwork being required for this ongoing litigation is now putting the surrounding forests at some risk.

So, as an interim solution, the ever resourceful locals have developed a power

generating system which takes electricity direct from trees.

Being aware of their

responsibilities to the wider global community, they have designed these systems so that, in order to function properly, there has to be an ad hoc connection to the Indian national grid. In this way any surplus electricity provided via the trees can be streamed off, to the benefit of everybody in the wider community.

They aim to sell franchises to distribute their system, which they have branded Arbor Electric.

  • 3. Purpose: To show that locally based innovation and initiatives can make a real

contribution to saving the global environment

  • 4. Tone: Sincere and correct, politically speaking. Not too much brow-beating.

  • 5. The Image: The very mature tree which is producing the electricity also gives

shelter to the villagers from the hot sun. It integrates well with the village concept

and makes a positive contribution to the peaceful ambiance of the locale. The other trees in the background shows that there is already scope to install additional,

conveniently located access points.

The light bulb provides extra security and

safety at night and can also be seen to be a metaphor for someone having an

innovative idea. The attractive woman going about her business in an environmentally sensitive way feels empowered. She is now free of care and pangs of guilt because she knows running her dishwasher will not be contributing to global warming.

  • 6. Text : Uses a frequently used device in advertising: the play on words. Not

too corny but also not overly obscure. The vocabulary associated with trees offers

many opportunities for similarly accessible, LOFL humour (“Take a leaf out of their book”, “Let photosynthesis fuel your future” and so on). Cram in as many warm, positive and environmentally friendly words as is possible without it seeming to be

overtly contrived.

  • 7. Rhetorical Methods :

Kairos : A publicity campaign run between 1 st April 2013 and 1 st April 2013 (April Fool’s Day in the UK)

Ethos: We all live together on this tiny, crowded planet and so we need to be aware of the effects our actions are having on the environment we share. We can all contribute in a positive way too. It is so inspiring to see that even nice, simple souls like these can think up new ideas. :

Logos: The logical formula is sound and the argument compelling, although the reasoning does take some liberties with reality

Pathos: The image is meant cater to Westerners’ ignorance and insufferably patronising attitudes. Environmentalists are, frankly, a soft target. The new system also serves as a wheeze to fob off the fraud investigators from the state electricity authority.