Oklahoma Natural Gas/Texas Gas Service – Rebate Remix Campaign
Since 2006, Hahn has been a partner with Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) and Texas Gas Service (TGS), promoting their Energy Efficiency Program (EEP). To date, we’ve developed three campaigns for them.
The Challenge: Push the boundaries and make something memorable
When ONG and TGS first approached us to develop a new campaign for their EEP rebate program, we knew we had to push the boundaries. Typically, ads in this industry are developed with stock imagery or simple illustrations. We knew we had to present an idea that was memorable in order to create a campaign that addressed this challenge: “How can we help customers remember there are natural gas rebates when they only buy appliances every 10-20 years?”
In order to know what would resonate with customers, we did some concept testing with ONG and TGS customers: Good Choices Pay Off and Rebate Remix.
Concept #1: Good Choices Pay Off
Concept #2: Rebate Remix
Overall, the participants thought Rebate Remix was fun, relatable and attracted attention whereas they liked the huge check in the character’s hand and how straightforward it was in Good Choices Pay Off.
The Solution: Puppets mixing rhymes about rebates
After all of the research, the client made the right choice and greenlighted Rebate Remix!
The months following involved sourcing our talent – the puppets – and the production team to work with. We discovered this company of professional puppeteers in Philadelphia called Monkey Boys and Big Howl who create puppets, props and sets for films and the stage. They even worked on big productions like Saturday Night Live!
Working together, we created the puppets from their names, personalities, wardrobe to their skin tone, hair color and nose shape. For instance, did we want one of the women puppets to be blonde? Does she have a high or low ponytail? Maybe a pointy nose? Okay, so is she a spin instructor? Does she need some athleisure wear and a smartwatch? Throughout the process, we got sneak peeks of the unfinished puppets – limbs, eyeless faces. As for the wardrobe, children’s clothes were the perfect puppet size. From the initial puppet sketches to the final production, the result ended up being pretty spot on. Meet Callie, Ernest, Guy, Zane, Whitney and Shaggy!
At the same time, Hahn was working through the storyboard, casting of the voiceovers and music selection.
The Result: High viewership, happy clients and high achieving awards
The campaign led to a variety of digital ads, TV spots and radio. When compared to our past campaign, Time Better Spent, we found people on Facebook are 9x more likely to watch our Rebate Remix videos and 4x more likely to click on the ads.
Some of our client testimonials included: “So catchy, I am dancing!” and “I caught myself starting to sing along with them.”
The campaign also earned one bronze and five gold distinctions in the Oklahoma ADDYs, two bronze distinctions in the regional ADDYs, two Austin Marketing of the Year Awards and a Communicator Award of Distinction.
Behind the Scenes: Puppets in the making
As you can imagine, a puppet production involves a lot of creativity. Sometimes it took three puppeteers for one take. The art department would make everything day-of on set. For one scene, it required human feet to come out of a recliner to portray Ernest’s wiggling feet. They had to saw off the bottom of a children’s recliner and sew brown socks for a production worker to stick her feet out. They also did puppet tricks like streamers for hot and cold water, colorful sand for bubble bath bombs and invisible fish wire to “flip” a steak.