R&R Urges Nevadans to Tune In, Turn It Down

LOS ANGELES Independent R&R Partners takes Nevada energy consumers back to the “Winter of 68” with a new effort on behalf of Sierra Pacific Power, the agency said.

A pair of television spots and four print executions use iconic late-1960s imagery to remind northern Nevada residents to keep their thermostats set at 68 degrees through the chilly season, according to the Las Vegas-based shop. Work breaks regionally the week of Nov 14.

In one 30-second spot—instantly recognizable as a takeoff on one of the era’s landmark films, The Graduate—a dripping-with-sweat young man nervously asks a much older, seductively dressed woman, “Are you trying to get me hot, Mrs. Maxwell? Well, are you?”

As the red-lipped temptress twirls her pearls and perfects a come-hither stare, her khaki-clad victim says, “Because the thermostat, it’s like turned up to 80.”

The spot ends with a voiceover instructing viewers to “Take it back to 68” and a snowy, ’60s-style logo.

Other executions feature imagery inspired by the TV show Laugh In and late ’60s yogi-to-the-stars Maharishi Mahesh.

“It’s such a departure for a power company to go in this direction,” said R&R Partners creative director Ron Lopez.

This is the second installment of the nostalgic, energy-saving campaign, which broke in July with R&R’s “Summer of 78” TV and print efforts. With its humor and simple message, that work “got a lot of positive response,” Lopez said. “We were waiting for this big promise of technology to save us, but really, it’s [still] about turning it down.”

R&R has worked with Sierra Pacific Power for almost a decade, the agency said. Previous work, however, has focused on “good-will campaigns” and putting “a face behind the power company,” Lopez said. During Nevada’s recent power-shortage years, he explained, the utility wanted to remind frustrated consumers, “We’re customers, too.”

That work established the utility’s credibility with energy consumers and “set the foundation, gave us the freedom,” to be more creative, said Lopez, who worked on the time-traveling campaign with R&R copywriters Miles Nebeker and Jason Luery and art director Jessica Hazen. “Now we’re able to do this.”

“Winter of 68” spots and print will run indefinitely throughout northern Nevada, a high desert and mountain region which includes cities such as Carson City, Sparks, Tahoe and Reno.

Sierra Pacific Power spent $375,000 on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor Plus. The client’s most recent ad spend was not disclosed, but is in line with past budgets, according to an R&R representative.