National Grid

Empowering customers with a critical message.

With a steadfast commitment to customer safety and some devastating accidents in a nearby utility’s footprint, National Grid sought a way to communicate a crucial public safety message: Encouraging awareness around reporting potential gas leaks and urging customers to dial its 811 hotline before excavation. But the initiative was facing two significant challenges. COVID-19 dramatically changed the public’s media consumption habits and the commonly shared assumption that someone else was responsible for reporting a potential leak.

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Bypassing the bystander effect.

We focused on that second critical insight for our campaign—the widespread belief that someone else will report potential gas leaks. Our goal was to empower everyone to take charge by making the call themselves, whether to 911 for gas emergencies or 811 before you dig.

Standing out while we were staying home.

Our campaign rally cry was found in the call-to-action— the 1’s in the emergency numbers inviting customers to “Be the 1”. The encouraging multi-channel campaign used vibrant yellows from National Grid’s secondary color palette to signal danger and catch viewers’ attention. Recognizing that the pandemic had changed media viewing habits, we quickly revamped our media approach. With foot traffic suddenly down, we leaned heavily into online video, programmatic ads and social media channels. We also launched a series of television ads to connect to a homebound audience.

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With incredible initial success, we decided to maintain a consistent creative strategy—a choice that resulted in higher call volumes and increased incident reporting regarding potential gas leaks and excavation plans. And our integrated approach successfully prompted action while prioritizing gas safety, challenging the prevailing “someone else will handle it” mentality.

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National Grid

Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.

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