Lighting Up Ameren

Rodgers Townsend Connects Utility, Public
CHICAGO–Ameren attempts to further brand its new name by promoting a community lighting program through a campaign from Rodgers Townsend in St. Louis, the agency’s first full-scale work for the client.
The TV, print and radio campaign pitches the utility company’s “SmartLights” program, which offers nonprofit operations including municipalities up to $20,000 in free lighting equipment and installation to better illuminate public places.
Rodgers Townsend’s TV spot attempts to “show [SmartLights will] make a real difference,” said agency partner Tim Rodgers. The St. Louis shop took over the account last year when TBWA Chiat/Day’s crosstown office closed.
The spot, which broke this month throughout Ameren’s coverage area in Missouri and central Illinois, shows a father attempting to show his young daughter how to descend a slide in a park. The process starts in daylight but the daughter is reluctant to go down the shimmery slope. Dusk falls, then darkness, but the dad is able to continue his coaxing because the playground is lighted through the SmartLights program.
“Because sometimes, there’s just not enough hours in the day,” says a voiceover. The spot ends with the tagline: “We’re always there.”
SmartLights was “developed to celebrate the launch of the new Ameren Corp. … and raise awareness of the name,” said Stephen J. Troll, Ameren senior advertising supervisor.
Ameren was born through the merger of Union Electric in St. Louis and Cipsco in Peoria, Illinois.