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Amid Power Woes, Ameren Spots Tout Reliability

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Electricity's role in mundane as well as life-changing events is the focus of a new campaign for Ameren from Rodgers Townsend.

Spots break this week in Illinois and Missouri markets covered by the utility, which each summer launches an image campaign to address various issues such as, last year, potential competition in the marketplace.

This year's campaign addresses reliability, deemed timely in light of recent power outages in California as well as problems in the past couple of years closer to Ameren's region.

"This is a reminder that Ameren had no blackouts, no problems," said Tim Rodgers, a partner at the St. Louis agency.

The shop's three spots are shot from a first-person perspective. One shows a man waking up and glancing over as his alarm clock goes off. The view continues to the wall socket where the clock is plugged in, against copy that reads, "Life. Powered by Ameren."

Two other spots show a garage band practicing and a woman having a baby, both activities aided by electricity. The spots end with the same view of an electrical outlet and copy.

All of the commercials are shot in a blurry, moving style until the camera settles on the outlet, said Tom Hudder, executive creative director at the shop.

Hudder said the spots attempt to be subtle in pitching reliability. "We're not chest-beating," he said. "That would be kind of the wrong message."

Ameren's past tagline was, "We're always there," which also promotes reliability but was deemed too heavy-handed for the current spots, Hudder said.

"We all kind of take power for granted," Hudder said. "Because of what's going on nationally, it's been on the front-burner."

Last year's focus on competition was no longer necessary; that issue has cooled in Illinois and Missouri.