When the client sees your team as an extension of theirs, magic happens. Columbia Gas of Ohio’s customer base just wasn’t paying attention to their audit program, so they wanted to shake things up with a fun video.

“Fun” and “energy utility” don’t often belong in the same sentence, but we were excited by the challenge and the client’s absolute trust in us. We pitched them six very different directions based on the creative brief, and the client narrowed it down to two. She just couldn’t pick, she said, so it was up to us.

We were as torn as the client. The first direction was unusual because of its fun twist; the second was as daunting as it was thrilling. I asked the art director and senior copywriter to momentarily put the scary deadlines and scope of the second direction aside. Which one would they be most proud to add to their portfolio?

Turns out, the scary choice was the right choice. An homage to Wes Anderson’s visually arresting style and playful storytelling, Midwest Anderson walks the viewer through a home energy audit with Hans and his quirky assistant, reinforced by strong brand colors from the client’s palette.

Over the course of two weeks, we sourced and finalized talent, wardrobe, and props. The production crew found a soundstage and built sets based on our art director’s storyboards. The client and account management flew in, and it was time for the one-day shoot. Because we filmed locally, most of the creative team was able to stop by throughout the day for a behind-the-scenes learning opportunity.

We pulled the daunting thing off. And the client was as thrilled as our team.

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The team: Kenny Grant, DP // Christina Meisner, ACD // Elisa Leichty, art director // Sean Armstrong, senior copywriter