Solar Power: It’s Not Just for Hippie Freaks Anymore

Sunrun ads poke fun at clichés about green-energy users

This fun campaign from solar-power company Sunrun and ad agency Heat should make conventional utility companies green with envy. The writing's excellent—far better than my silly lead sentence—in three well-acted spots that invert viewer expectations by presenting Sunrun customers as primarily motivated by the desire to save money, rather than new-age, bleeding-heart concerns. In each ad, actors spar with off-screen voiceovers. One vignette shows a middle-aged couple gardening in their yard. When the narration suggests they went solar "to save dolphin babies all over the world," the husband replies, "No. It's more the money thing." Announcer: "But what about the dolphin babies?" Wife: "Well, that's great, too. But we really like to save money." A second spot finds a burly guy doing a woodworking project in his garage. Voiceover: "Scott was the first on his block to call up Sunrun, who helped him switch over to solar for no money down. But that wasn't even the best part." Scott assures him, "Yes it was," and after some back and forth, delivers the campaign's best line: "Shhh, voice man. I'm trying to build something here." The understated humor plays to perfection, and the sales pitch feels unforced and affable. Bright idea, Sunrun! These spots could really make lightbulbs come on for some consumers. Two more ads after the jump.

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