Hanon McKendry Turns On Ads

Shop Breaks First Work for Michigan’s Largest Utility Company
DETROIT–Hanon McKendry’s first work for Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, takes a tongue-in-cheek approach in its effort to educate consumers about the many places a deadly downed powerline can be found.
The Grand Rapids, Mich., shop was assigned the consumer portion of Consumers’ $3 million account earlier this year. The business formerly was consolidated at FCB in Southfield, Mich., which continues to handle Consumers’ corporate assignment.
Three other agencies contended for the business picked up by Hanon McKendry, which is primarily broadcast creative.
The agency’s debut, a 30-second spot dubbed “A Downed Powerline,” starts with a severed power line dangling into a white screen. A man with a speakerhorn appears.
“That’s a downed power line,” he announces. “Wherever you see a downed power line,” the camera shifts to a close up of his face and the speakerhorn, “STAY AWAY” he says dramatically.
To demonstrate the possibility that a downed power line can appear anywhere, the slides go to extreme places like Mt. Rushmore and Bora Bora. The Consumer Energy logo appears on the screen and a voiceover says: “Report a downed power line. Stay away. Stay alive.”
The final shot shows the spokesman in front of a slide of the moon, he glances at it and says “Come on!” and shakes his head and arms in exasperation.
The spot will run on cable and network over the next 6-8 weeks, said Bill Danhof, who recently was named a managing partner at the agency.
Consumers is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corp., Jackson, Mich. Consumers provides natural gas and electricity to more than 6 million of the state’s 9.5 million residents.
Hanon McKendry will handle media planning with media buying being delegated to StarLink, a media management unit of Starcom MediaVest Group.