Special to HarpBlaster.com News Wire
ATLANTA, Sept. 4, 2008 – Renowned musician Willie Nelson and two copywriters from Atlanta’s Fitzgerald+CO advertising agency are on a mission to change the way Americans view diesel vehicles and alternative fuels.
Scheduled for departure from Midtown Manhattan on Sept. 22, Nik Bristow and Brian Pierce from Atlanta’s Fitzgerald+CO will embark on “Willie Run ‘08”, the first-ever non-stop, cross-country trek powered entirely by Willie Nelson’s own BioWillie biodiesel.
The two-man team will follow the route of the infamous Cannonball Run and arrive less than 40 hours later in Los Angeles on September 24. They won’t stop for fuel. They won’t stop to go to the bathroom. In fact, excluding driver changes, they won’t stop for anything for almost 3,000 miles.
Their vehicle of choice? The “Willie One,” a diesel Volkswagen Jetta with an additional 60 gallons of fuel capacity that, along with the diesel car’s superior fuel economy of approximately 45-50 mpg, will allow it to travel coast-to-coast without a single fuel stop. Power Service Diesel Kleen +Cetane Boost will also be used.
Power Service Diesel Kleen helps increase miles per gallon up to eight percent as well as reduce visible exhaust emissions up to 50 percent and NOx and CO emissions up to 28 percent.
Bristow and Pierce have been biodiesel supporters for years and are ardent fans of Willie Nelson. After discovering the BioWillie brand and linking those two passions, they began developing a relationship with BioWillie and creating print ads and other marketing concepts on a pro bono basis.
“We’d been working on the BioWillie brand for a while and we were doing some pretty cool stuff. But it occurred to us that we were working with Willie Nelson, the original outlaw of the music industry, so we needed to be doing something outlaw. So we came up with Willie Run ’08,” said Pierce.
When the guys approached Fitzgerald+CO President and CEO Dave Fitzgerald with the idea, he immediately expressed support. In tandem, the company was beginning to create their in-house Sustainable Initiative group, and he knew this project would help inspire enthusiasm around the office for eco-related causes. He also knew it was an opportunity to support talented employees with their higher calling.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” said Fitzgerald. “Their creativity has always been off the charts, so I really didn’t think they were off the wall when they discussed this idea with me. Some people may say I’m crazy for letting them take time off to support a personal cause, but we want to work with smart, passionate, enlightened people, and when we can help bolster them, we want to do all we can to help.”
The “Willie Run” team has launched many promotional elements for the campaign, including an interactive Web site (www.willierun.com), online webisodes, merchandise and opportunities for consumers to become sponsors of the run.
“Even my Mom is talking about miles per gallon. It’s becoming an incredibly personal and urgent issue all over the country. And folks feel powerless. So we’ve designed the Web site to involve people directly with the cause for alternative fuels. I hate the word grassroots, but it’s totally grassroots,” said Bristow. “Everyone I talk to about biodiesel wants to get involved. I hope we can use Willie Run ’08 to get the whole country excited about biodiesel’s viability and promise.”
“And we want to educate people that Biodiesel is superior to other biofuels such as ethanol. And in the end, of course, we want to make Willie proud,” added Pierce.