Finance or Utilities Campaign

TV ad campaign drives awareness of utility’s use of renewable resources

Commercials helped improve public perception.

Generate Possibilities—Tri-State G&T's Renewable Energy Story - Logo -

TriState G&T faced harsh criticism for its perceived lack of activity in renewable energy. In truth, the utility—a power supplier to 43 electric cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico—had been actively bringing renewable sources into its mix for some time. TriState set out to bring the public up to speed with a series of TV spots. The campaign has won first place in the “Finance or Utilities Campaign” category of Ragan’s 2018 PR Daily Awards.

The campaign’s goals were ambitious, especially because positive sentiment about its renewable efforts stood at a rock-bottom 0%. Goals included earning 50 million impressions, improving social sentiment by 25%, increasing traffic to its renewables website by more than 100% and encouraging its members companies to participate in the campaign.

To achieve these goals, TriState recruited an actor to portray Renewable Randy, a likable, funny, self-deprecating, plaid-clad spokesperson who reminded audiences in each spot that “Thirty percent of the electricity you use comes from renewable energy.”

The message was deployed via video, broadcast, OTT, print, radio, digital, social, virtual reality, the web, editorial, sponsorships, paid and earned media and in-person appearances. The 30-second videos placed Randy in a variety of scenarios, like solar farms, wind farms and dams.

The effort surpassed its goals in a big way, with 34 member systems participating in the launch, 29 requesting the VR component and 35 asking for the life-sized cardboard standup of Randy. Sentiment on social media increased to 56%. The campaign achieved 24 million-plus impressions for broadcast video alone (nearly half of the 98 million total impressions).

Congratulations to Lee Boughey, Amy Rosier, Melissa Kendrick, Julia Perry and Sam Taggart.

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