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Katsin/Loeb’s ‘Mouse That Roared’ Brings California Utility Deregulation Message to TV

SAN FRANCISCO-Katsin/Loeb Advertising last week launched a new TV campaign for Turlock Irrigation District that takes an unusual tack in raising public awareness about the benefits and hazards of utility deregulation in California.
The ads, TID’s first on TV, are airing on network and cable stations throughout the state’s central valley region. They feature the tagline, “Electric utility choice is coming to California. Choose wisely.”
Katsin/Loeb is also creating print work, to appear starting this month in local newspapers.
The Sacramento, Calif.-based, publicly owned electric utility provider is spending up to $1 million for the entire advertising effort, according to sources.
“We want people to view TID -a small company-as the mouse that roared,” said Jeff Loeb, partner and creative director at the San Francisco agency. “What’s happening with California’s power is the biggest thing since [the] telecommunications [industry] was deregulated, but it’s hardly generating as much interest. TID wants to do right by its customers, and advise them to make wise decisions about who provides their power.”
One darkly humorous TV ad, in 30- and 60-second executions, features a convict on his way to the electric chair. The warden asks the prisoner if he has any final words. The prisoner responds thoughtfully, “Why, yes. Now that Californians will have a choice in their electric service … I strongly advise shopping around.”
A prison guard gives a sinister smile and says, “No problem. We switched electric companies last week.” But when he pulls the handle to send a charge to the chair, the electric panel blows. The prisoner laughs wickedly and says, “Cool!”