For this year’s E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest, we’re changing the way we recognize your ad submissions.
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April 25, 2018

We’re Awarding Your Best Ad Campaigns in the 2018 E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest

It’s time to showcase your utility’s best ads and take credit for the creative effort that made them so effective. E Source is looking for ads that delivered a clear message and proved effective, all while looking visually appealing. Submit your ads by May 18, 2018, to be considered in this year’s contest!

Submit your ads

New award categories

For this year’s E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest, we’re changing the way we recognize your ad submissions. We’ve always looked for:

  • Ads targeted to residential or business customers
  • Ads with a record of success with your utility audiences
  • Clear messages with visual appeal
  • Ads promoting your utility’s brand, programs, or services

But this year, we’re excited to announce brand-new award categories focused on topical areas instead of media type. When you consider which ad campaigns to submit, think about the ads you’re running across categories like efficiency programs, electric vehicles, self-service, outages, and rates.

Our 2018 award categories are:

  • Energy-efficiency and demand-response programs
  • Solar and storage
  • Electric vehicles (EVs)
  • Safety
  • Brand
  • Home energy management and smart home
  • Outages
  • Self-service (bill pay, start or stop service)
  • Rates
  • Revenue-generating offerings
Enter the contest

You can view all of the winning ads from 2017 and check out some of the winners below.

Increasing positive brand awareness

As the largest energy provider in Kansas, Westar Energy was facing negative customer sentiment in 2016. Westar wanted to tell a story that featured both the people behind the brand and the communities across its service territory. The utility produced a video series focused on how it’s bringing clean energy, money, and jobs into local communities and providing educational opportunities to all Kansas utility customers.

Still of the video available from the ad contest winners page

Westar showed the video campaign online, on social media, and in local cinemas across its territory. The campaign increased brand sentiment by 20%. Westar earned first place in the Best Digital Streaming category in 2017.

Building excitement for EVs

To develop a showcase for electric transportation in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas, Austin Energy created Electric Drive—a transportation hub, featuring DC fast charging for EVs and solar-powered kiosk charging for electric bikes, scooters, motorcycles, mopeds and handheld devices.

To market Electric Drive and celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Plug-In EVerywhere program, Austin Energy held a ribbon-cutting celebration and media event with speeches by the mayor, city council members, and Austin Energy executives. The city of Austin even granted an honorary street name change, turning West Second Street in the Seaholm EcoDistrict to Electric Drive. Austin Energy took first place in the Best Event or Experiential Marketing category in 2017.

Image of Austin Energy employees holding the honorary Electric Drive street sign

Boosting enrollment in online self-service tools

SMUD took first place in 2017 for the Best Broadcast Television Ad. Its goal was to enroll customers in online self-service tools to help them manage their electric bills. The ad promoted a new suite of online tools—MyEnergyTools—which SMUD created to help customers be more proactive about managing their energy. The ad resulted in a 35.2% spike in sign-ups during the campaign.

Still of the video available from the ad contest winners page

2018 E Source Utility Ad Awards

Enter the contest

Inspired by these ads or know of great ones your utility had in the last year? The 2018 E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest is now open, and we’re looking for targeted, successful, and visually appealing ads that promote your brand, programs, or services.

Visit the contest page for details on what we’re looking for, general information, and a list of award categories. The deadline to submit your ads is May 18, 2018. We’ll announce the winning ads at the annual E Source Forum, September 25 to 27, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.

About the author

headshot of Sannie Sieper


Director of Marketing

Sannie is responsible for lead generation and outreach to prospects via email, social media, online advertising, search engine optimization, and the website. She has experience in traditional marketing, email and online marketing, publicity, and social media strategy. Previously, Sannie was the director of marketing and sales for a book publisher and was a cofounder of an e-commerce startup. She has a BA in psychology and German from Colgate University and an MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.

E Source Forum 2018 ad
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Let us know what you think. If you want to weigh in or chat about this topic, just email Kym Wootton, E Source vice president of Marketing. Follow Kym on Twitter.

Contributing Authors

Director of Marketing

Sannie Sieper is responsible for leading the marketing, event, and member communications for E Source. She is passionate about marketing...