JWT Atlanta today launched an advertising push for regional gas and electric provider Scana, in what the agency is describing as the first major campaign produced under its new creative leadership.
With a faux soap opera titled "Affairs of the Flame," the marketing effort attempts to add a little entertainment value to energy companies’ traditionally dull courtship of customers who are shopping around for better heating prices during “gas renewal season”—the months when consumers are more likely to defect as colder weather approaches, according to group creative director Tim Wettstein.
The first TV spot introduces such characters as Hamilton, representing Scana, who fends off the attempts of Javier, representing the company’s rivals, to steal the affections of Margaret, the customer with a wandering eye. Its production values nicely capture the overdone aura that’s the hallmark of daytime melodramas, and the acting has an aptly washed-up feel to it. (Those who were of TV-watching age in the late '70s and early '80s may recognize Hamilton as Grant Goodeve, who played the eldest son to Dick Van Patten’s character on Eight Is Enough.) Pogo Picture’s Ben Callner, who won the 2011 Young Director Award at Cannes, directed the commercial.
The campaign marks part of JWT Atlanta’s mission to reinvigorate the agency’s creative reputation under new leadership, said Wettstein. In late 2011, JWT Atlanta hired Perry Fair, an alum of Grey New York, and briefly, Mullen, as its chief creative officer. In March, Fair brought on BBDO New York veteran Wettstein, who oversees work on all clients other than the U.S. Marines. “You've probably never heard anything exciting coming out of JWT Atlanta before we joined,” said Wettstein. “I know it sounds horrible…It wasn't the best creative.”
Since Fair and his Wettstein’s arrival, “We basically did a 180 on all clients, and [Scana] is the first big thing that's going out of the new JWT Atlanta,” said Wettstein.
A new Jiffy Lube campaign, launched in June, was produced by former executive creative director Roy Trimble, and long underway before Fair’s arrival, according to an agency spokesperson.
The agency cut staff in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston in March.
Four more television spots in the Scana campaign will roll out in coming months, along with additional video clips running on the campaign's website.
Agency: JWT Atlanta
Chief Creative Officer: Perry Fair
Group Creative Director: Tim Wettstein
Senior ArtDirector: Ryan Taylor
Senior Copywriter: Rob Bloom
Director of Integrated Production: Peter Blitzer
Content Producers: Jaime Povirk
Production: Pogo Pictures
Director: Ben Callner
Executive Producer: Ruth Brown
Post-Production: Jam Edit
Editors: Eddie Kesler and Jeff Jay
VFX Editor: Andrew Pope
Color: Company 3, New York
Colorist: Tom Poole
Audio: Crawford Media Services, Inc.
Sound Designer: Greg Crawford
Digital Strategy: Chelsea Gattung
User Experience: Patrick Aguilar, Chris Downs
Project Management: Larry Fox, Josh Leifeste
Developer: Stan Pozmantir, Anthony Glass, Tom Nelson
QA: Walt Mamed, Shane Williams
Interactive Developer Director: Pat Bronson