By Jeff Goss, President/Creative Director
The utility industry was going through a government deregulation to prevent monopolies. In a nutshell, this meant sudden and new competition for our client Georgia Power. The challenge was to prevent client defection for cheaper alternatives now available. We came up with a solution directly derived from the question “Why should your clients stay with you?” The answers were profound. You wouldn’t think so in a large corporate utility, but we found story after story of the Georgia Power reps going to bat for their clients and saving the day. We came up with creative and media tactics to tell their stories, thwart the defections, and arrest the concerns.
A campaign was designed to reach the decision makers and influencers who read the Southeast edition of the Wall Street Journal. The large print ads in the campaign told the actual stories and circumstances the Georgia Power customer faced in which the Georgia Power service and service representative made a difference in the outcome.
We were shooting photos of the sales representative running to jump on the helicopter, breaking a heel, before daylight at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta. We were in the freezer at a Kroger grocery store filled with blocks of ice re-creating the story of how the representative saved thousands of dollars worth of perishables during a power outage. We were on a hill in a storm doing a mock groundbreaking of a company that Georgia Power’s proposed power solution helped get approved and bring to fruition.
The photography and copy told the individual stories of the Account Representatives saving their clients. Being placed in the Wall Street Journal, we had the idea to humanize the account representatives with their portraits. But for the same reason the Wall Street Journal uses pen-and-ink portraits — clarity — we did as well. Not just any pen-and-ink: We hired the Wall Street Journal illustrator, which helped create an editorial feel to the campaign, lending credibility. The campaign was a home run. We got to join a retreat at a private lake in north Georgia to celebrate the victory. Nice little cabins those power companies have.