ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN for the US Department of Energy
People are irrationally afraid of nuclear energy, which has slowed construction on new plants.
SOLUTION: Use workers' true stories to show them that nuclear energy is more than safe. It's too safe.
WHAT WE KNOW
Nuclear energy needs a win.
Whenever nuclear energy has made the news, it's been for something bad. For the first time in 30 years, new plants are being constructed in Georgia, and we need them to go up without a hitch. Protestors have already built up small followings through fear tactics, which has resulted in construction delays. Advertising can help end construction delays by giving citizens confidence that the next disaster isn't looming over the horizon.
The Irrationally Afraid
“I think my brain likes to store the very worst imagery from CNN, make a cocktail of those images and get drunk on it while I’m sleeping.” - Stephanie
Stats, logic, and other rational arguments aren't going to be the answer for them. These are the people who know their fears are statistically unfounded, but still can't seem to shake them. They're the ones who always whisper a silent prayer during take off, and who lock their doors as soon as they get into their cars at night. When it comes to nuclear energy, their imagination is their own worst enemy, and they can't help but wonder, "what if?" These are the people that are the most easily swayed and slow nuclear progress.
The farther away from the plant they live, the more afraid they are.
John, Lauren, and I took a road trip to the North Anna Nuclear Plant in Mineral, VA and interviewed folks along the way. As we got closer to the plant, their fears diminished:
It's about degrees of separation, not miles of separation.
One man broke the pattern: even though he lived 68 miles away, he felt safe. Why? It turned out he had a college buddy who worked at a plant. As we replayed our conversations, we realized the people who lived closer to the plant all mentioned wives, husbands and friends that worked there. And as these wives, husbands, and friends all talked about their work days, safety protocols became a natural - and neutral - part of their dinner table conversations.
Help the rest of us see nuclear safety protocols from the perspective of the plant workers.
CREATIVE BRIEFING HIGHLIGHT
Nuclear plants are run by grown-up hall monitors.
Every day, Tom, a worker at a nuclear plant, passes by guards with machine guns, hand geometry scanners, and security lines -- just to get to his desk. There are excessive verification protocols, food and drink restrictions, and monthly trainings. The North Anna Power Station, located 100 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, even has a safety protocol in place for a tsunami.
According to Tom, everything in nuclear is "incredibly frustrating, time-consuming, and over cautious." The idea of over cautiousness was funny and unexpected to our team.
THE CREATIVE CONCEPT: You can never be too safe.
- Strategy team man-on-the-street road trip + visit to the North Anna Nuclear Plant
- Comments section of online petitions to stop construction of GA plant
- Interviews + reddit threads (nuclear workers, people with other irrational fears, people who deal with the irrationally afraid - like parents and flight attendants)
- Books/articles on US energy solutions, nuclear energy, and the psychology of fear
- Focus groups + other research passed down from the client