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Carbon Removal Startup Strikes Swift Marketing Victory

It seems every brand and its gran has been trying to capitalize on Taylor Swift’s relationship with Travis Kelce as of late, but not all are doing it just for the benefit of their bottom line. After the pop icon took a private jet straight from the Tokyo leg of her Eras tour to see her Kansas City Chiefs boyfriend win the Super Bowl in Las Vegas earlier this month, one company took it as an opportunity to do Mother Nature a solid, too. 

Spiritus, a carbon removal startup, has pledge to offset Swift’s private jet emissions to the tune of USD28,000. That’s one pricey marketing stunt, but well worth it, according to the company’s CEO. He says the move has helped draw attention to the difference between carbon offsets — where individuals or corporations can buy credits to fund emission prevention or reduction efforts — and carbon removal — where carbon is directly removed from the atmosphere.


"This is one of those moments where there's such global attention to Taylor's flight and the emissions," Spiritus CEO Charles Cadieu told "People, to their credit, have some skepticism around offsets. If we just moved that conversation to removal, we can get more public opinion support for it, we can get more governmental support, more corporations seeing that distinction and realizing that that's where they should be putting their money."

Spiritus, who, believe it or not, is firmly in the carbon removal camp, is on a mission to combat climate change, one CO2 molecule at a time. Using cutting-edge technology and a sprinkle of magic (okay, maybe science), they capture and store carbon emissions in material known as “sorbents”, effectively undoing the environmental damage caused by human — and musical deity — activities. They’ve basically offered themselves up to serve as Swift’s emissions maid, squirreling away the shameful carbon equivalent of her dirty laundry.

The otherwise squeaky-clean TayTay has received a fair amount of criticism for her private jet use, with lawyers even sending a cease and desist letter to a student who was tracking her highflying emissions and publishing them online. Needless to say, such underhand tactics caused even more uproar, forcing her publicist to go on the record claiming Swift has already purchased twice the amount of carbon credits required to offset her Eras tour.

While some may scoff at the idea of a carbon removal startup hitching a ride on a popstar's private jet for their own gain, in the wild world of Super Bowl marketing, you've got to be willing to think beyond the touchline.

Opportunist as it was, by seizing the moment and tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, Spiritus not only managed to raise awareness for their cause but also put themselves on the radars of sports fans and Swifties alike. In a world where every carbon footprint counts, they proved that with a little creativity and a whole lot of moxie, the sky's the limit for ballsy marketing mavericks with the right shameless stunt at the right time.


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