Chartwell’s People’s Choice – Video category allows utilities to showcase their creative talents

By Suzanne Haggerty, Industry Consultant —

Video: Whether you like it, love it, dislike it, hate it or tolerate it with a keen sense of skepticism, it’s apparently here to stay — mostly thanks to the proliferation of smartphones.

According to Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report, Americans spend more time with digital media than ever: 5.9 hours per day in 2017, an increase of 4% over 2016 numbers. More than half of this digital time, 3.3 hours, is spent using a smartphone.

According to the same report, mobile users across the globe spent nearly 30 minutes per day in 2017 watching videos on their mobile devices. Considering we were barely watching 5 minutes of video per day on mobile devices in 2012, we must acknowledge that video is a medium that has come a long way in a relatively short time.

And utilities have stepped up their game to meet this increased demand and consumption. So much so that in recognition of the rapidly expanding role of video in digital marketing and communications efforts, Chartwell added a new category to its Best Practices Awards in 2016: the People’s Choice Award – Video.

The People’s Choice – Video category recognizes outstanding creative achievement in short video marketing/communications efforts, such as TV spots or digital pre-roll. Chartwell judges select the Top 3 entries, and the recipients of the People’s Choice Award are chosen by attendees at Chartwell’s EMACS: The Customer Experience Conference.

Reaction to the new category was phenomenal — we received dozens of entries each year. And the initial round of video reviews is a welcome relief to Chartwell’s judging panelists, who spend weeks in June and July poring over submissions in our metrics-focused categories:

  • Billing and Payment
  • Communications
  • Contact Center
  • Program Marketing
  • Self-Service

The entries themselves always show us the amazing range of talent working for utilities these days. Last year’s finalists alone showcased a variety of creative themes:

  • Georgia Power’s “Remix” video featured sounds recorded at various power plants, strung into an unexpectedly melodious compilation by the company’s ad agency, Three.
  • Hydro One released a video documenting Hydro One Day, when the company’s leadership team joined the contact center to listen to customer concerns and answer questions as part of the Flip the Switch campaign, aimed at demonstrating the company’s commitment to customers.
  • Idaho Power’s “Nature of Stewardship” TV commercial not only showcased its service area’s amazing scenery, but also featured scientists who work for Idaho Power showing some of the unique employee roles that protect the Snake River, wildlife and the surrounding habitat.
  • UGI’s “The First Day” video, designed to build brand awareness, follows a child’s journey from making mud pies to opening her own bakery. The video, conceptualized by Andculture, emphasized the core areas for JD Power ratings.

Last year’s winner, PNM’s refrigerator recycling video, used humor to increase participation in PNM’s programs, engage customers and enhance the overall PNM brand.

According to Shannon Jackson, Manager of Marketing, Branding & Communications at PNM, the utility’s video strategy was to take employees out of a familiar context to catch the audience off guard.

“We applied a different approach in order to communicate the value of our Energy Efficiency programs demonstrate how approachable and helpful the people of PNM can be to your home or small business,” she said. “The campaign also showed, in a lightly humorous way, that we’re here for our customers. They can always talk to us and get the info they need.”

So, start scrolling through your recent video archives for your best submissions. Utilities can submit up to three videos, each no more than 1 minute long. Videos must have been released between January 2018 and June 2019.

Download your entry form and send everything to us no later than June 12, 2019, the deadline for all Chartwell’s Best Practices Award entries. You can email the completed entry form and video files/links, submit via Hightail, or submit via your own file-sharing application.

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