Alliance to Save Energy Launches Humorous TV Campaign

Release Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Radio PSAs Spotlight Over-the-Top Eco-Friendly Couple

Continuing its successful TV advertising approach of wild and humorous energy-saving experiments, the Alliance to Save Energy’s new TV ad, “Energy Science Fair,” features elementary school students vying for prizes for their science experiments that save the most energy.

Among the experiments: A student chasing a pig to obtain methane to power a home; a large gas-powered phone, which sounds like a noisy power lawn mower; a hamster-powered radio; a centrifugal shower that uses rotating force but no water; and an angelic-looking student who saved the most energy but was accused of cheating because her father clearly helped her with her booth and home experiment. The latter experiment uses products with the ENERGY STAR label—the symbol that goes on most energy-efficient products, which reduce energy use as well as energy bills and pollution.

Energy Science Fair” comes on the heels of the great success of the Alliance’s last TV ad, “Static Electricity House,” which was judged and voted #2 greatest commercial in the world on the CBS primetime May 2002 show, “World Greatest Commercials.” Earlier in 2002, “Static” was also featured on “Best Commercials” shows on the ABC and BBC TV networks. When the award-winning PSA debuted, it was also selected as one of the best new ads by adcritic.com and AdWeek.

Static” highlighted a family’s wild experiment to deal with high energy prices by powering their home with static electricity. It required all family members, including the dog, to keep rubbing their wool socks on the carpeting to keep lights on and power functioning.

But that approach had many humorous drawbacks — from a burning carpet to having all their hair stand on end. There are many other “shocks” in the process. And then, of course, a wool sock clings to the back of the dad’s jacket as he goes off to work, briefcase in hand.

“The Alliance and our advertising agency on these two campaigns, DDB Bass and Howes, have successfully used humor to ‘break through the clutter’ in creative ways to gain airtime for public service advertising,” notes Alliance Communications and Marketing Director Rozanne Weissman.

The new Alliance radio PSA, “Smart People,” features an over-the-top, eco-friendly couple who discover that saving energy doesn’t involve going to extremes—it can be easy with energy efficiency.

The Alliance of prominent business, government, consumer, and environmental leaders was founded 25 years ago following the OPEC oil embargo of the ‘70s. At that time actor Gregory Peck was the Alliance spokesperson on its PSA campaign, “Don’t Blow It America.”

In an Alliance 25-year timeline and retrospective covering key world events on the energy front and Alliance milestones, Alliance President David M. Nemtzow points to the continued risks today of being so dependent on foreign oil from one of the most unstable areas of the world and the failure to adequately use existing energy-efficiency technologies in buildings and energy-oriented products for homes and businesses as well as vehicles.