Ad of the Day: Droga5’s Clever Energy Ad Lets People Choose Their Fuel Source

NRG asks travelers to think twice

If you had the option to use sunshine, wind or fossil fuels to charge your cellphone, which would you choose?

Droga5's first work for its newest client, energy company NRG, shows air travelers getting just that choice while waiting in a terminal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of them seem to favor the greener options (one sourpuss can't be be bothered).

And while hidden-camera approaches always raise questions of staging and selective editing, it doesn't really matter here—mostly the spot is a smart and simple way of prompting viewers to ask questions they might not in their day-to-day: Where does their power come from, and is there a better source?

Check out the spot below, and the accompanying website here.

In other words, NRG is aiming to increase demand for alternative energy, and apparently betting the future of its business on it. The company, which at present still relies on fossil fuels, says it aims to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050. For broad context, the U.S. is aiming to cut carbon emissions by about 25 percent overall by 2025, and China is promising to start reducing its emissions after 2030, per the deal that the world's two top-emitting countries struck last November (though it's not at all clear that's sufficient to save the world from famine and flood).

Also for context, a study of 2011 data by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, released in 2013, found NRG to be the U.S. company with the 12th largest share of the country's carbon emissions—Genon, which NRG finished acquiring in late 2012 for $1.7 billion, ranked 24th separately at the time of the study.

Regardless, the feel-good sun-rising montage that weaves through the new commercial has distinct overtones of Droga5's notable sunrise work for Prudential from 2011, with an electrical twist. Though it is a bit surprising that NRG and Droga5 didn't offer a bank of outlets literally powered by cow crap.


Client: NRG

Campaign: "Power Behind the Plug"

Launch Date: 7/29/15

Agency: Droga5

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Chief Creative Officer Ted Royer

Executive Creative Director: Neil Heymann

Creative Directors: Rick Dodds, Steve Howell

Copywriter: German Rivera Hudders

Art Director: J.J. Kraft

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies

Executive Broadcast Producer: Matt Nowak

Head of Integrated Business Affairs: Dianne Richter

Senior Integrated Production Business Manager: Matt Friday

Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Head of Strategy: Chet Gulland

Group Strategy Director: Harry Roman

Strategy Director: Dan Wilkos

Senior Communications Strategist: Elsa Stahura

Communications Strategist: Parks Middleton

Social Strategy Director: Tom Hyde

Senior Social Strategist: Calvin Stowell

Group Account Director: Matt Ahumada

Account Director: Kristoffer Aldorsson

Account Manager: Michelle Villarreal

Project Manager: Connor Hall

Designer: April Pascua

Production Company: Stink

Director: Kosai Sekine   

Directors of Photography: Dimitri Karakatsanis, Michael Svitak

Executive Producer: James Cunningham

Producer: Scott Pourroy

Editing Company: Lost Planet

Editor: Charlie Johnston

Executive Producer: Krystn Wagenberg

Producer: Taylor Colbert

Postproduction: The Mill

Executive Producer, Head of Production: Sean Costelleo

Producer: Mandy Harris

Colorist: Michael Rossiter

Visual Effects Supervisor Jade Kim

2-D Lead Artist: David Forcada

2-D Artist: Heather Kennedy

Music: A Place Called New York

Company: Hiroko Sebu

Sound: Jodi Levine

Company: Heard City

Sound Design: Tim Barnes