Technology seems to advance at the speed of light these days. Yet few things are changing as fast as home energy use. From smart devices to electric vehicles to solar and other renewables, consumers have more control over their energy use than ever before.
The nonprofit Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC), which works to educate the public about the benefits of smart energy and energy technology, enlisted Questline Digital’s help to create fun, engaging resources that would bring these issues to life. This partnership fueled one of our most creative projects to date: “The Evolving World of Energy” video and content series.
SECC asked Questline Digital to develop a toolkit of resources to engage residential consumers on specific energy topics through a variety of mediums. The first initiative was an educational video series focused on the ever-changing developments in energy, including electric vehicles and clean energy sources like solar and wind power. Since SECC’s members are made up of energy utilities and other industry partners, the video series needed to be easily sharable on their digital channels, including websites, social media and eNewsletters.
“We started with Questline Digital after creating three ‘The Evolving World of Energy’ fact sheets and decided a compelling character could brand the videos and mediums together,” says Greg Schwartz, SECC’s Director of Operations. “Visuals like infographics, videos and even social media images to accompany the text-based mediums would help to capture consumers’ attention and be better for sharing.”
“The Evolving World of Energy” video series
The three video topics included: emerging energy technology, electric vehicles and renewable energy. Before starting production of the first video, Questline Digital’s Creative & Content team brainstormed and presented ideas for three different concepts. SECC ultimately chose Professor Energy, a fun and energetic character to serve as the guide and voiceover throughout the video series. Professor Energy was inspired by “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” the Emmy Award-winning science program known for being quirky yet educational. This video series concept is a nostalgic nod to classic science education programs.
“Professor Energy was created with the mindset of breaking barriers in the male-dominated energy industry,” says Joe Pifher, Questline Digital’s Creative Director. “Her character has a ton of personality, helping to take dry subject matter and turn it into something engaging.”
“Questline Digital’s expertise has proven invaluable to SECC as we’ve sought to fulfill our mission of helping consumers in North America understand the benefits of smart energy. Through videos, infographics, fact sheets and other resources, Questline Digital has helped us provide factual information and practical tips to consumers around renewable energy, electric vehicles, smart home technology and energy efficiency.” —Greg Schwartz, SECC Director of Operations
For the scriptwriting process, the goal was to incorporate the most important information from SECC’s in-depth fact sheets (six to eight pages long) into a three-minute video. In addition to providing educational insights and the latest statistics, the videos needed to engage and entertain viewers.
Each video in the “Evolving World of Energy” series starts and ends with black-and-white footage reminiscent of an old-fashioned educational film, which serves as a dramatic contrast to the colorful contemporary animation that follows. This visual look also illustrates energy’s dramatic transformation from the past into the future. Each video featured real-world examples and provided Professor Energy with plenty of adventures as she navigated different scenes.
For example, in the “Evolving World of Energy” video, Professor Energy demonstrates the convenience of smart home technology by adjusting her home’s AC from her smartphone while relaxing on the beach. In the video “Renewable Energy 101″ she appears in a solar farm, as photovoltaics pop up in the scene all around her, showcasing this fast-growing renewable resource.
The video “Electric Vehicles: How Much Do You Know?” was the most comprehensive of the series, both in animation and scriptwriting. This video needed to dispel common misconceptions around electric vehicles while showcasing new opportunities and efficiencies. This video featured additional characters, including a talking electric vehicle named Eve. In this video, Professor Energy and Eve drive around town, highlighting the benefits of EVs versus gasoline-powered vehicles. Questline Digital also created the “Electric Vehicles: The Ride of the Future” infographic with key trends and statistics from the video.
SECC shared these resources through a variety of channels:
- Industry and consumer websites: Resources were available to view or download by members and non-members.
- In-person conferences: Videos were showcased at several member meetings and a consumer symposium comprised of SECC members and non-member attendees.
- Webinars: The Electric Vehicles video and infographic were prominently featured in an EV webinar that had 100 attendees.
- Social media: Shared on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest (including paid media)
- Email marketing: Resources were included in announcement emails and educational recap emails. They were sent to SECC’s consumer email list (4,996 subscribers), member email list (1,603 subscribers) and industry non-member email list (1,820 subscribers).
- SECC Members: Resources were shared on member social media channels and included in eNewsletters, as well as utilized for internal education.
- Google Adwords: EV content was used in Google Ads, generating a high number of clicks and impressions.
Results and metrics
“The Evolving World of Energy” video series proved to be a success, helping to increase consumer understanding of renewable energy and smart technology. Combined, “The Evolving World of Energy” video series garnered more than 5,400 views on YouTube.
The video “Electric Vehicles: How Much Do You Know?” is the most popular to date, reflecting growing consumer interest in EVs. The video and accompanying infographic were added to the main navigation element on SECC’s consumer website. They also serve as key decision-making resources for companies and organizations to join SECC.
“Electric Vehicles: How Much Do You Know?” video
- 4,422 views on YouTube
- Nearly 16,000 views on Facebook
- 41,951 pageviews on consumer website
“Electric Vehicles: The Ride of the Future” infographic
- 284 industry downloads
- 894 pageviews on SECC’s consumer website