Solar energy is sexy |

Solar energy is sexy

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

In marketing, sex sells. No matter how squeamish that makes us feel, it’s the truth.

And in this case, the truth hurts a little.

Flying out to Los Angeles for a colossal solar conference – in my other life as a marketing coordinator for Solar Energy International – I knew I would see booth babes. With the exponential growth in the industry, I’m not surprised to see marketing tactics other industries, such as automobile and electronics, will use to bring attention to their products. But I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw the booth babes for one particular solar company parade women dressed in skin-tight racing suits around the exhibition hall. I literally saw men stop and drop their jaws like they had never seen a woman before that exact moment.

I’d hate to see how they’d react at a porn industry conference.

There were also plenty of camera flashes going off, so many of the men in awe must have been so shocked to see a woman for the first time, they needed photographic proof. It really does pay to carry a camera on your person at all times. Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. Woman.

We really are one of life’s mysteries.

Sure, some people say solar panels and inverters have enough sleek sex appeal on their own without the need for scantily clad women pushing the different brands. But now that solar has gone mainstream, booth babes are likely here to stay. Enter the babe of all babes.

At least according to “Baywatch” standards.

To my amusement, the booth babes weren’t the only cause for chatter at this conference. One party I unfortunately missed out on, because of a conflict during the week, featured said booth babes. But, also, the party touted the presence of a special celebrity guest. We were, after all, in L.A.

The City of Angels and augmentations.

The booth babes were just the beginning. Enter Pamela Anderson. And boy were people talking. This party, featuring women in tight racing suits and special celebrity guest Pam Anderson, was the talk of the conference by the time the word had gone out that she was in the house. Pam is known for her animal rights and environmental activism, so why not a solar party appearance? As a marketer, the concept makes some sense.

But the feminist in me has to chuckle a little.

That’s because when I think solar panels, I don’t picture Pamela Anderson. Silicon, yes.

Silicone, not so much.

When I truly think celebrity endorsements and solar, Larry Hagman comes to mind. Yes, Larry Hagman. He is all over the solar world lately because of his support of solar. He has it on his own home. And the scenario is just too perfect since he played oil tycoon J.R. Ewing on “Dallas” for so many years.

Irony sells, too.

The solar industry has many faces, and not just good ol’ Pam and Larry. My boss, Johnny, is one of them. He’s been into solar for 30 years now, and is finally seeing a legitimate revolution. And many of his oldest friends in the industry can say the same. I imagine they chuckle a little, too, when they see booth babes and ironic celebrity endorsements. Such marketing initiatives are a sign of the times now that solar is so big – there are conferences with 25,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors. And booth babes and Pamela Anderson.

Maybe this means in all fairness men can be booth babes, too.

– April E. Clark is considering being a booth babe for Halloween. She can be reached at

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