Nuclear Energy Institute: It's Not New, It's Nuclear

CHALLENGE

Many nuclear plants are shutting down as they are unable to compete against energy sources that receive legislative support. We partnered with the Nuclear Energy Institute to improve nuclear energy’s perception among D.C. legislators and their networks, specifically by promoting one of nuclear energy’s chief benefits: it’s a virtually carbon-free energy source and therefore critical in the effort to lower global emissions.

To gain support in federal and state legislatures our campaign needed to overcome the stigma associated with nuclear (weapons, Cold War, nuclear waste, past accidents) as well as the misconception, especially among younger people, that nuclear is an antiquated technology and instead, present it as an innovative solution to climate change. And importantly, move nuclear out of the perceived category it shares with fossil fuel industries and into the category of renewable energy—wind, solar and hydroelectric.

SOLUTION

We established our creative concept and message strategy through online survey testing several 30s videos. Our results showed that an education element – emphasizing that nuclear produces 55% of America’s clean energy – would be most effective among the target audience.

We then established a media mix that would allow us to reach the target audience through a variety of channels including: direct targeting via propriety list of D.C. influencers using social media and high-impact video and display ads, native advertising and other placements in major D.C. publication like The Washington Post, Politico and Axios. As well as morning newsletters, especially those that are Energy specific, connected T.V. and audio.

RESULTS

Each of several online surveys showed positive attitudinal shift. Nuclear has become part of the conversation—for the first time, presidential candidates and moderators presented nuclear as crucial in addressing climate change during the 2020 primary. 

In 2020, this campaign won the following awards:

  • PR News Digital Marketing Campaign: Honorable Mention
  • Gold Telly Award (non-broadcast education)
  • PR Daily (Best Public Affairs): Honorable Mention
  • Internet Advertising Awards: Best Energy Ad