Rhode Island Energy

A new utility in a small state packs a mighty punch.

B2C , Energy & Sustainability

Advertising // Digital // Media Planning & Buying

In June of 2022, the newly formed Rhode Island Energy had to communicate to its 770,000 electric and gas customers (and government stakeholders) that they could count on the same best-in-class programs and service they were accustomed to receiving from their former utility, National Grid.

Rhode Island Energy needed an ownable, distinct brand campaign platform to quickly build awareness and reassure Rhode Islanders they shared the same environmental values and understood the importance of cost savings to families. In a small state like Rhode Island, commercial and residential customers are often one and the same, so developing one campaign for both sectors was crucial to establishing strong brand continuity.

Small actions can be the start of something big.

At just 1,214 square miles, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S. It has a rich history of bucking the system and challenging the accepted. Our campaign platform idea bucked the system too. The big idea—encouraging customers to feel good about starting small with actions and programs that would measurably improve their lives while saving them energy and money. Any step, no matter how small, could result in more savings, comfort, health, safety, productivity and profitability—and less employee dissatisfaction, energy consumption, and carbon emissions. We brought “a little goes a long way” to life by visually juxtaposing big and small things in a whimsical way that was approachable, relatable and unique.

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Plugging into two distinct audiences.

We surrounded commercial and residential customers with compelling messaging across multiple media touchpoints that reinforced the benefits, financial incentives, no-cost energy assessments and cost-effective upgrades to get started on the path to a better energy future.  We leveraged local and business media channels to target and reach commercial and residential customers. Commercial tactics included print ads, preroll video, high-impact cover wraps, native articles, programmatic/native ads, paid social and search. Residential tactics included TV, OOH, video, print, social, search, programmatic and native ads. Direct marketing initiatives included email blasts, newsletters, lead-gen programs, business case studies and articles.

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Results that shine brightly.

Creative that was visually disruptive for the category and distinctive in the marketplace helped us meet or exceed benchmark campaign targets. Energy assessment call volume tripled between September and February for both residential and commercial. For commercial audiences specifically, we had over 40% online business journal ad engagement. Our lead-generation programs produced hundreds of valuable energy assessments. And that was just the beginning.

  • 41-point increase in “Communication” rank in J.D. Power Q1 2023
  • 332% increase in Rhode Island Energy branded search volume 
  • 40%–50% email campaign open rates, well above the industry standards 
  • More than 97,278,613 million impressions 
  • More than 399,204 clicks 
  • 109,462 site visits
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