CHILLING OUT

There are quite a few ways to stay cool this summer. But according to a new TV spot for util ity company Xcel Energy, sitting in a supermarket freezer shouldn’t have to be one of them.

The 30-second spot, by McClain Finlon Advertising in Denver, shows a young woman shopping in the frozen-food section of a supermarket. To her surprise when she opens one door, she sees a young man sitting in the freezer, watching auto racing on TV and eating chips. “You’ve got better options for staying cool this summer,” says the voiceover.

The ad, running on spot TV in Minnesota and Wisconsin, appears in two versions. For Minnesota, the voiceover notes one may get a rebate of up to $300 for buying an energy-saving central air conditioner; for Wisconsin, the spot seeks to raise awareness of the “Energy Star” logos on certain ACs.

“Generally as a cate gory, people don’t pay close attention [to this subject] until there’s an energy crisis,” said agency creative director Tom Leydon, noting it was important to make the now-quite-topical ad humor ous.

The initial idea came from art director Dan Buchmeier’s experience as a fry cook in college, when he’d often sit in the freezer to avoid the kitchen heat!