The best shopping bag I ever worked on.

We worked on everything from edutainment sites that let you create virtual power outages to shopping bags on the SCE (Southern California Edison) account.

The shopping bag was a brilliant choice of media on SCE’s part for their CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy) program. The bags were distributed to grocery stores in predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhoods.

In the past, plain bags were printed with a chart in both Spanish and English that showed how little income a family had to earn to qualify for assistance. It got the idea across with no visual interest, it presented CARE as yet another low income assistance program that makes people feel that they’re helpless , and it did nothing to create a more uplifting message.

So we proposed Señor CARE. A masked wrestler in the lucha libre style that would introduce a hero who speaks Spanish and unites people with more affordable energy bill programs. Below is a rough comp of the bag.

But more than the bag, we proposed an integrated campaign. We recommended they hire Spanish-speaking actors to don the Señor Care costume and spend an hour at the markets, bagging groceries and telling people about the program. Creating a live experience would be more effective than just the bags and would be picked up as story on every Spanish TV news program in Los Angeles. Señor Care would also show up at soccer games and other events. The bag even had a mask on the side for kids to play with.

You would think SCE would be glad for the PR and free media. But no. We later learned that some people at SCE thought we were crazy (their words) to propose such an idea. And we thought they were crazy for nixing it.

Related: The Worst Migraine in L.A.


About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see
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