2016 Utility Ad Awards Contest logo

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 have delivered a clear message and proven effective, all while also being visually appealing. Submit your ads by May 6, 2016, to be considered in this year's contest!

Enter the contest!

The E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest is the utility industry’s largest and most comprehensive competition, attracting hundreds of entries. The goal of this competition is to recognize and reward creative excellence in utility advertising.

As we’ve seen from past entries, utility advertisements can convey all kinds of messages, such as:

  • Humor
  • Trustworthiness
  • Energy education
  • Conservation and energy efficiency
  • Environmental stewardship

See the winning ads from previous contests.

Past participants include Alliant Energy, Duke Energy, First Energy, Hydro One, Orlando Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Reliant, LG&E and KU, Otter Tail Power Co., Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, BC Hydro, ComEd, and more.

What We’re Looking For

We want to see:

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

Our award categories are (see About the Award Categories for more information):

  • Best Residential Print Ad
  • Best Business Print Ad
  • Best Outdoor Ad
  • Best Radio Ad
  • Best TV/Video Ad
  • Best Digital Ad
  • Best Social Media Ad
  • Best Overall Campaign—Investor-Owned Utility
  • Best Overall Campaign—Non-Investor-Owned Utility

We suggest reviewing our submission checklist (PDF) before you enter the contest.

You’ll Get Great Exposure

Not only will the winning ads be posted on our website, we’ll announce the award winners at the 2016 E Source Forum during a special awards ceremony. Winners can also expect:

  • A press release with additional coverage on Energy Central
  • Social media announcements via our blog, Twitter, and Facebook
  • A winners logo for your utility to publish on your website and in your marketing materials

General Information

Terms. Read the E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest Submission Terms (PDF).

Eligibility. This competition is open to any electric and gas utility located in the United States (the “United States” or “U.S.”), the District of Columbia, or Canada. Advertising agencies or related organizations may submit on behalf of a client utility operating in the stipulated areas. Ads that were created, produced, and published anytime from June 1, 2015, through June 1, 2016, are eligible for consideration.

Fees. There is no cost to participate.

Contest deadlines. The 2016 E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest begins on April 4, 2016, and ends at midnight on May 6, 2016. No late entries will be accepted.

Multiple entries. There’s no limit to the number of ads you can submit. Ads may be submitted individually or as part of an overall campaign.

Awards. All awards will be issued in the name of the utility. Awards will be presented at the 2016 E Source Forum during an awards ceremony. You need not be present to win—but you’ll probably want to be there!

About the Award Categories

Best Residential Print Ad. Advertising directed toward a residential audience that is placed in any print publication. This can include newspapers, magazines, direct mail, bill stuffers, etc.

Best Business Print Ad. Advertising directed toward a business, commercial, or industrial audience that is placed in any print publication. This can include newspapers, magazines, direct mail, leave-behinds, newsletters, etc.

Best Outdoor Ad. Outdoor advertising messages, notices, or events, commonly associated with standardized wooden or metal structures and delivered to mass audiences on sidewalks, streets, roadways/highways, or other outdoor areas. This includes vehicle graphic advertising that is displayed to the public, usually via the use of panels on the side, front, back, top, or bottom of vehicles such as buses, cars, and trucks.

Best Radio Ad. Radio advertising is defined as commercial audio (only) messages conveyed to the general public or target audience via wireless (radio) transmission. Radio commercials of 30 sec or 60 sec in length can be entered as a radio ad. Distribution can include stations locally, regionally or nationally.

Best TV/Video Ad. Commercial audio and video messages conveyed to the general public or target audience via a broadcast, cable, or satellite transmission or via video-sharing websites or e-mail.

Best Digital Ad. Ad placed on a website. These can include static, moving, or flash ads, and may include audio.

Best Social Media Ad. Ad placed on a social media channel such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Google+, or Pinterest. These can include static, moving, or flash ads.

Best Overall Campaign. Campaigns should include two or more ads with a common theme delivered via multiple types of media. Investor-owned and non-investor-owned utilities will be separated into two categories with winners named for each.