Getting a public service message to the masses isn’t easy, especially in a crowded media environment. Enter Safety Squirrel, a fast-talking rodent who is out to warn Californians about the danger of power lines.
Southern California Edison picked a squirrel for its relatability to power lines, as the fuzzy-tailed beasts are often seen traipsing along them like an agile tightrope walker.
‘Safety Squirrel’ is a campaign by IW Alliance, consisting of Dailey, GP Generate and IWGroup. It features a frank, quick-tongued squirrel who dispenses rapid-fire real talk about how to behave near power lines. Whether he’s saving a partygoer’s errant metallic balloon from frying a power line or stopping a distracted tree trimmer from making a shocking mistake, Safety Squirrel intercedes in spots that are, well, a little nutty.
“Dailey’s focus groups confirmed a hunch. Few people recalled any messages from safety advertising at all, prompted or unprompted,” said Helen Cho, executive creative director at Dailey. “We needed to create a campaign that would be a departure from anything Southern California Edison had done before.”
Added Diane Tasaka, principal manager, brand and creative at Southern California Edison: “We really wanted something that would break through the clutter in five languages and appeal to all age groups, because in the end it’s about keeping people safe.”
Dailey’s diverse team created the integrated regional campaign to be presented in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Mandarin – five languages commonly used in Southern California.
The first spots, ‘Tree Trimming,’ and ‘Metallic Balloon,’ debuted during spring tree trimming season and just before the annual uptick in balloon purchases around Mother’s Day and graduations. The media buy also includes TV, digital, social, OOH.
: ‘Safety Squirrel’
Client – Southern California Edison
Chief Executive Officer – Kevin Payne
SVP Corporate Affairs – Caroline Choi
VP Corporate Communications – Beth Foley
Principal Manager, Brand & Creative – Diane Tasaka
Advertising Manager – Tracy Ou
Communications Analytics & Insights Mgr. – Jim Kapsimalis
Creative Director – Doug Olivieri
Agency – IW Alliance, a collaboration amongst Dailey, GP Generate and IW Group
Executive Creative Director/Writer – Helen Cho, Dailey
Executive Producer – Mike Cha, Dailey
Sr. Art Director – Wonee Paek, Dailey
Managing Partner – Jean Grabow, Dailey
VP/Account Director – Robert Kavanagh, Dailey
Account Supervisor – Cheldy Moran, Dailey
Account Lead – Dean DeMarchi, IW Group
Director of Strategy – Jane McCarthy, Dailey
Strategist – Katherine Kilmer, Dailey
Media COO: Stephen Page, GP Generate
Director – Nate Robinson
DOP – Andy Lilien
Producer – Elisa Morse
Head of CG – Dave White
CG Supervisor – Andrew Cohen
Flame Lead – Amanda Amalfi
Editor – Robb Hoffman
Colorist – Nick Sanders
EP – Juliet Tierney
Producer – Persis Reynolds
Composer – Emoi Music/Aaron Robinson
Audio – Eric Garcia, 48 Windows