Seattle, Wash., Feb. 1, 2016 – A cast of clay animated characters created to represent a variety of Puget Sound Energy customers star in a new advertising campaign from Seattle-based DNA.
The creative concept encourages PSE customers to use various tools and programs to save money on their energy bill and easily report an outage when the power’s out.
“Happy to Help”
The “Happy to Help” campaign includes three television spots: two that feature scenarios of customers saving money with PSE’s energy efficiency programs, and one that shows how easy it is to report a power outage with the PSE mobile app. The campaign will also include digital and paid social media elements running in the Seattle media market as well as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts.
“The ads may be light-hearted but the campaign has a serious goal. We want to break through the clutter of messages everyone is bombarded with so we can effectively promote our self-service tools in a fun and engaging way,” explained Grant Ringel, Director of Communications for PSE. “The campaign has relied on many different voices in the company working together, including teams in energy efficiency, safety, community outreach, communications, customer insights and plenty of other places. We have already had a group of employees and customers share their opinions about the overall concept, and it has been overwhelmingly well received”
“The ads may be light-hearted but the campaign has a serious goal. We want to break through the clutter of messages everyone is bombarded with so we can effectively promote our self-service tools in a fun and engaging way…”
The Incredible Bill Shrinking Light Bulb
In one spot, “The Incredible Bill Shrinking Light Bulb,” a clay animated customer turns on a lamp to look at bills on a table and watches his PSE energy bill shrink. The spot promotes energy efficient lighting offered by PSE to help customers save electricity and money. PSE – The Incredible Bill Shrinking Light Bulb :15
Another spot, “Cold Hard Cash,” shows a clay animated mom mid-workout, going to her refrigerator to fill her glass and out pours money instead of water, showing the money that she saved by using her energy efficient refrigerator. PSE – Cold Hard Cash :15
“The characters are whimsical depictions of customers in the Pacific Northwest,” explained Kammie McArthur, Creative Director at DNA. “Clay animation allows us to exaggerate situations and emotions to drive home the idea that PSE is looking out for customers. And does it in a fun and memorable way that is unique in the category.”
DNA turned to Portland, Ore.-based animation company House Special, to create the the clay animated scenes. Every element of the ads – from the characters to the pictures on their walls to the coins that pour from the refrigerator– was handmade. Every detail was considered to ensure that the characters and their homes captured the authenticity of the Puget Sound region.
Given the Pacific Northwest climate, power outages are an ongoing concern, so the third spot in the campaign promotes the PSE app that enables customers to instantly report when power goes out and to get information on when power will be restored.
PSE intends to use these characters in ongoing promotions throughout the year and with internal communications among PSE employees. PSE – Animal Planet :15