The E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest is the utility industry’s largest and most comprehensive ad campaign competition, attracting hundreds of entries each year.

Our goal with the contest is to recognize and reward creative excellence in utility advertising. We accomplish this by selecting a team of independent judges to review and select ad finalists based on ad effectiveness, objectives, message, visual design, and innovation.

To celebrate the upcoming launch of this year’s contest, we’re highlighting winners from 2022 in a series of blog posts. In this post, we’re featuring the best campaigns in the brand and self-service categories.

Utilities can submit their advertising campaigns through E Source Energy AdVision, the only collection of thousands of utility advertising campaigns available in the industry with detailed background information on media type, campaign strategy, ad placement, intended audience, tracking methods, and results.

Brand campaign

Brand ads have a simple goal: to raise the visibility of the company. Utilities submit campaigns that promote their company’s mission, goals, and achievements.

First place: Con Edison with “Where Clean Energy Lives”

Con Edison made a commitment to customers in 2021, taking a leadership role to deliver a clean energy future for New York. With its goal of “aggressively transitioning away from fossil fuels to a net-zero economy by 2050,” Con Edison developed a 360-degree integrated marketing campaign that featured foundational research, targeted advertising, public relations, web journey, and employee engagement across a diverse mix of media channels. The utility’s impressive results included:

  • 77,083,021 video views
  • More than 350,000 website visitors
  • 750,000,000 impressions

Members of the Corporate Communications Service can read more details about Con Edison’s Where Clean Energy Lives campaign via Energy AdVision.

We proudly presented Con Edison with first place in the brand category (figure 1).

Figure 1: Con Edison shared insights and results from its campaign strategy at the 2022 E Source Forum

During the session “Excellence in utility advertising: Empowering the Sustainable Utility“ John Fredette, head of brand and marketing at Con Edison, explained the secret to Con Edison’s success.
Con Edison sharing insights about its campaign while accepting its award

Second place: JEA with “Your Community. Your YOUtility.”

We honored JEA as our second place brand winner for its “Your Community. Your YOUtility.” campaign, spotlighting the people in its community (figure 2). The educational campaign resulted in 25,204,591 impressions across TV, radio, digital, search, and social channels. And the JEA website logged 38,662 visits to specific program pages. JEA reported plans to conduct postcampaign focus groups where it expects to see high ad recall and resonance with customers.

Figure 2: JEA’s brand ad highlighted STEM students in the community

Part of the ldquo;Your community. Your youtility” campaign, this JEA ad highlighted the utility’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.
JEA ad highlighting STEM students in the community

Members of the Corporate Communications Service can read more details about JEA’s Your Community. Your YOUtility. campaign via Energy AdVision.

Self-service campaign

The self-service category focuses on campaigns that creatively educate and spread awareness about all the ways utility customers can self-serve to save time. For example, we saw campaigns that promoted bill payment options or how to start or stop service.

First place: MLGW with “Gift of Comfort”

Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) created the Gift of Comfort program in 2005 to “provide a mechanism for individuals and organizations in the community to make a payment towards a customer’s utility bill as a gift.” Since its inception, the Gift of Comfort program has assisted approximately 2,000 customers with $500,000 in donations given through paper check.

MLGW’s catchphrase sums up the spirit of the campaign:

When times are tough for some, human endurance, faith and a little ‘Gift of Comfort’ goes a long way!

We awarded MLGW first place to celebrate the online portal the utility created in 2021 to give people more ways to donate (figure 3). MLGW’s campaign to promote the portal included a 30-second video launched to coincide with the 2021 holiday season. Members of the Business Marketing Service or Residential Marketing Service can read more details about MLGW’s Gift of Comfort campaign via Energy AdVision.

Figure 3: MLGW accepted its award at the 2022 E Source Forum

Gale Jones Carson, vice president of community and external affairs at MLGW, accepted the first-place award from Hailey Gish, product strategist for marketing and communications at E Source.
MGLW accepting its award

Second place: BGE with “Business Energy Manager”

BGE took home second place in the self-service category for its campaign to support the launch of its Business Energy Manager tool for business customers. The campaign’s ads were attention-grabbing, innovative, and effective (figure 4). Between December 2021 and April 30, 2022, the overall campaign generated more than 22,678,540 impressions and 233,583 clicks for a click-through rate of 1.11%. Members of the Business Marketing Service can read more details about BGE’s Business Energy Manager campaign via Energy AdVision.

Figure 4: BGE’s “Business Energy Manager” campaign

Since launching in February 2022, BGE’s high-impact display ad generated more than 1,290,320 impressions and over 33,000 clicks, achieving a 2.56% click-through rate.
A screenshot of BGE's BEM program

Contributing Authors

Senior Product Strategist, Marketing and Communications

Hailey Gish is an experienced marketing and communications strategist. Her expertise includes brand building, conversion optimization, B2B social...