Visualizing the invisible : ads for energy

Posted on April 27, 2008. Filed under: Advertising, Animation, English, Video |

I have already written about Areva’s and EDF’s TV campaigns, using animation and cool music to explain what they do. For the past 2 weeks Areva’s TV ad has been back on air, and Suez launched its new campaign, with a little sense of “dejà vu” …

All energy giants are facing similar challenges in terms of communication :

  • Energy can not be seen
  • Energy sources are critical assets for the future
  • Energy production and consumption is often associated with pollution

A quick analysis of French energy ads points to only 2 choices to help clients understand what they do, and both use visual tricks :

Animation : they chose to show us what energy can power, and how it is produced and distributed, and since reality can be too harsh, too complex, or on a scale too large to understand, they went for animation.

EDF (Electricité de France), issued that “SimCity”-like campaign a few years ago, blending reality and animation :


Suez (Lyonnaise des Eaux, Electrabel, …), recently aired a similar ad :


Areva (Framatome, …), went for full animation :


Allegories : they chose to represent the reality of energy in a figurative mode, in the every day or the founding moments of life. Allegories are often used in communication and advertising

Gaz de France is showing us a birth :


Total is accompanying us at every moment of the day :


Those advertising strategies are seductive, but straying too far away from reality can be deceptive, especially when those strategies are not in par with companies operations and actions. In a globalized world where they are no longer in a monopole, creating a brand identity in the end-consumers’ mind is a challenge for French energy companies.

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