overview

People don’t appreciate all the work and coordination it takes to turn on a light. Behind every power grid, there are a group of daring and hard-working individuals that risk their lives to maintain our network of power lines— a very dangerous job, even in normal times.

In the aftermath of a storm or another natural disaster that knocks out the power, however, it’s exponentially more vital, and even more dangerous. Linemen are asked to leave their homes for weeks at a time, work 16-hour days in the punishing sun, and leave their families to fend for themselves without power, all in service of a job that has no room for human error.

CCOM, the creative agency of record for Florida Power and Light, came up with a campaign that honored the sacrifice of these linemen, painting them as the unsung heroes of every disaster recovery.

Process

The campaign, dubbed “Mutual Assistance”, was made up of interview-driven spots with three different FPL linemen that had seen many recoveries. We were tasked with using our interview skills to gather soundbites for an emotional story that underscored their sacrifice and made FPL customers aware of what it really takes to get the power back on.

The client didn’t want the spot to feel dry or boring. They still wanted a storytelling-driven approach to the content in order to engage the audience and avoid it feeling like a PSA or a PBS special.

Overall, our approach focused on giving the spot an urgent feeling, along with visuals that give the spot the feeling of a soldier leaving home to go off to war, unsure of when he’s going to return.

For the interview, we sat down with each lineman for over two hours, covering a wide swath of topics with the intent that these stoic men would eventually warm up to the cameras and show us their true emotional reaction to these circumstances.

We knew that the interview would not be enough to carry the story visually, so we shot b-roll with each lineman, using a shaky, fast moving handheld camera style that added intensity and immediacy to each moment, showing them leaving their families to answer the call and restore power to the community.

One of the biggest challenges with this spot was the sheer number of non-actors that were tasked with conveying an emotional, touching story to the viewers. Thanks to their authentic passion for their profession, we were able to dig deep enough to create a powerful tribute piece.

Result

FPL aired this campaign throughout hurricane season in 2019, and they were able to cut multiple spots that featured different stories and perspectives in both English and Spanish, giving them all the ammunition they needed to create diverse deliverables for a seasonal campaign.

Artex was responsible for creative approach and execution, treatment, and production.

CCOM won numerous ADDY awards from the American Advertising Federation in 2020, and we look forward to helping them realize their vision for their clients in the future.