Municipal Bonding

TV for JEA Promotes “Building Community’
BOSTON-Understated humor and examples of how an energy provider can make contributions to a community define Wickersham Hunt Schwantner’s first television spots for JEA, a $1 billion utility owned by the city of Jacksonville, Fla.
A trio of 30-second television commercials breaking in the Greater Jacksonville area carry the tagline, “Building community.”
One spot, “Sunday Afternoon,” features a man watching a football game on TV, unaware that his glass of water is slowly falling to the floor. “At JEA, we want you to know how vital saving water really is,” a voiceover begins.
In a second broadcast execution, “Saving Energy,” a would-be fisherman nods off with his hook snagged on an overhead electric light, which switches off when he finally falls asleep.
Along with polishing the client’s image, the ads are intended to encourage consumers to conserve electricity and water during the peak summer months, said Amy Hunt, creative director of Wickersham Hunt, a unit of Arnold Communications in Boston.
Hunt oversaw development on the campaign, assisted by associate creative directors Brad Pruett and Marty Stadtmueller. Rick Frisiello served as copywriter; Paul Cornacchini handled art direction.
Because of the company’s status as a taxpayer-funded entity, the television spots and similarly themed print executions are running as public service announcements, Hunt said. It is believed that if paid media were being employed, the campaign would be worth at least $5 million.
Wickersham Hunt picked up the Jacksonville Electric Authority account last year [Adweek, Mar. 18]. It immediately advised the client to abbreviate its name, the moniker by which most consumers now know the company, Hunt said.
JEA provides electricity and water management operations for Jacksonville and surrounding counties. At present, the utility has little competition in the marketplace.
Deregulation of the utility industry in Florida is expected to take place within the next couple of years. With that in mind, JEA is to some extent looking for the campaign to help position it as the provider of choice in a deregulated environment, Hunt said.