BC Hydro “PowerSmart”: Out-of-Home and Support Media Analysis

The following is my analysis on parts of the BC Hydro “PowerSmart” campaign.

BC Hydro PowerSmart Transit Media Ad

The company placed power-saving ads at train stations throughout Vancouver. They were placed across the train tracks for awaiting passengers to view them while waiting for the train. The ads contained funny dialogue to get the viewer’s attention and both entice a laugh and some thought on the topic of saving power.

IMG_0039 copy


BC Hydro PowerSmart Outdoor Media Ad

The company placed this TSA at various busy Vancouver intersections promoting LED light bulbs to save energy. At night, the lone LED glowed brightly while twenty other suspended incandescents remained unlit.



BC Hydro PowerSmart Place-Based Media Interactive Ad

An ad was created where the public could peek into two homes and spot the difference between living energy-efficiently and living wastefully. Two shipping containers were converted into bright BC Hydro-branded livable condos. The spaces were furnished with a living room and kitchen area including a refrigerator, computer, and television. The condos were placed in a high-traffic location in downtown Vancouver and during the course of four days, residents and commuters observed two actors living inside. The condos were connected to digital counters which allowed people to watch the energy consumption differences between the two lifestyles.



The transit media ad makes sense as the company wanted to utilize maximum reach and frequency. The ad also allowed for a longer processing time for consumers to process the ad and its message and also making it difficult for commuters to avoid seeing the ad while they waited for the train. Overall the CPM would have been quite low, especially in such a high-density city like Vancouver.

The outdoor media ad makes sense as the company wanted to have maximum geographic coverage by using various different locations in high-traffic areas to maximize reach and frequency. With such a high-traffic area being utilized, with the ad being hard for commuters to avoid and then capturing their attention with its creative appeal, the CPM for the ads would have likely been extremely low compared to other media vehicles.

The place-based media ad makes sense as they wanted to reach a large number of people. The ad had control for selective exposure as consumers couldn’t easily avoid it as they likely needed to pass by it to get to work, home, or wherever they were headed to. The ad also had a high attention and involvement rate as it was both interesting to viewers and interactive with its use of touch-based kiosks where users could learn more information.

One would normally think that reaching a large number of people through media vehicles like these would cause the limitation of target audience selectivity to be very prominent, but since BC Hydro is the main power provider to all of British Columbia, almost all of the ad viewers would be BC Hydro customers, and as such, their target market.

In my opinion, BC Hydro’s out-of-home and support media choices enhance the rest of their communication choices. A lot of their out-of-home media seem to be used as primary advertising for their PowerSmart campaign but they have been coupled with other vehicles as well, such as magazine ads, television ads, movie theatre ads, etc., and as such are being used as reminder advertising also. The company utilizes geographically relevant locations when placing their out-of-home ads in terms of high-traffic areas that reach the maximum number of viewers possible.

One additional OOH media I would recommend the company utilize is Exterior transit ads. By wrapping a number of buses in PowerSmart ads, it would increase the reach and frequency of the campaign even further. I searched and couldn’t find any example of them using this in their media vehicles.

Overall, I think the company did a great job with it’s PowerSmart ad campaign in terms of it’s reach, frequency, cost efficiency, and creativity.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.