BRANDING & ART DIRECTION

Project Footprint

Hawaiian Electric (HECO) has been around since 1891 and provides power to most of Hawai‘i. Being a legacy company and household name comes with obvious benefits, but the flip side is that it can be difficult to speak so that people will truly hear the message. So, when Hawai‘i became the first state to pass into law a target date to acheive 100% net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, HECO asked for some help to encourage residents to take action.

OBJECTIVES

Decrease residential energy use, especially during peak hours when non-sustainable fuels are often required to generate electricity.

Increase awareness of the mutual benefits that result from showing respect for the ʻāina (land, or that which feeds).

Explore new ways of communicating with previously unreached audiences, through creating genuine and sustainable emotional connections.

SCOPE

A visual identity system for standardization of all digital and print assets (photography, video, color, logo variants, type treatments, icons).

Custom image library (both motion and still) that reflects Hawaiian residents more realistically than previously relied upon stock sources.

Development and coordinated deployment of an omnichannel marketing campaign.

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CONTRIBUTORS

Elyse Butler, John Czarobski, Anna Geannopoulos, AJ Halagao, Sarah Cadwell, Sarah Kribs, Dan Lurie, Jay Hanamura (and his kick-ass crew), Nick Schuder, Lisa Tahan, and Deena Tucker

Photo & Video Shoots

A cast of 10 models in 8 locations spread across Oahu and Big Island. 

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Ads, SWAG, & Promotional Partnerships

Environmental, print, broadcast, and digital. In keeping with the project’s mission, the last thing we wanted to do was create more crap that would end up in Hawaiian landfills. So, promotional items used for awareness and rewards needed to sustainably sourced and truly useful. No mousepads, keychains, or cheap ballpoints here.

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Totes! Plastic-free, of course. And someday, after a thousand or so uses, jute canvas will biodegrade cleanly, and nearly twice as quickly as a coconut’s shell.

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Seed packs, because we need to start growing a lot more food at home. In Hawaiʻi, over 85% of food is currently shipped in from the mainland (and those boats do not run on sunshine).

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People love a free t-shirt, even in Hawai‘i

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Even sets of traditional digital banner ads — yes, I know it’s not 2004. But these surprised everyone by performing very well. And despite the typically meager click-through rates this format typically offers, their existence could be justified since the goal was brand awareness.

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Elementary school participation

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Merit badge curriculum (Boy Scouts of America, Aloha Council)

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Ubiquitous electric bike placement in partnership with Biki (pic by Nick Schuder)

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Afterword

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The campaign was initially well-received by the audience, earned several marketing industry awards (Hermes, eSource, etc.), and became the model for similar efforts by other energy utilities. But unfortunately Project Footprint was a victim of COVID-era budget cuts. At the time of this writing, Project Footprint survives in a more modest form, primarily thanks to the passion and drive of AJ Halagao at HEI.

© MMXXIV Grant Kindrick or the entities represented. All rights reserved. Built with Semplice, hosted on Dreamhost, and typeset in Satoshi. 

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