Westar Energy and Callahan win another top honor for utility ads

Oct 2, 2017

Westar Energy’s Renewable Future campaign, developed in partnership with Callahan, earned top honors for Best Digital Streaming Content in the E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest. The international contest’s winners were announced in Denver at the E Source Forum 2017.

This victory quickly follows the announcement last month that the Renewable Future campaign won gold in the communications category of Chartwell’s 2017 Best Practices Awards. Westar Energy’s 60-second wind energy cinema spot was also named a top-five people’s choice finalist by Chartwell, which recognizes outstanding creative achievement in short video marketing/communications efforts.

Westar Energy’s goal was to raise awareness about renewable energy in eastern Kansas. Many of the company’s customers were not aware of the state’s excellent wind energy resources or that a significant portion of their electricity came from renewable sources. Westar Energy worked with Callahan in Lawrence to tell three renewable energy stories—Winds of ChangeSolar is Rising and Clean Energy Kansas—to show how Kansas communities benefit from renewable energy.

The E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest recognizes marketing excellence among utility companies from across the globe. An independent group of judges select winners based on message, creativity, results, call to action, brand connection and overall impression. This year’s winners were honored at a special awards luncheon at the E Source Forum.

The Renewable Future campaign won E Source’s Best Digital Streaming Content award for presenting humanizing mini-stories combined with digestible, informative soundbites to educate and inform customers, while reducing cynicism and improving brand favorability and sentiment.

This content was targeted to customers within Westar Energy’s service area, generated measurable lift across two key brand awareness benchmarks and delivered positive Facebook sentiment of 94%. An ad recall study also revealed that the campaign’s content beat industry benchmarks in ad likeability and brand favorability.

Callahan is a brand strategy and digital marketing agency that maximizes Brand JuJu®—the measurable aura that surrounds brands that thrive in today’s digital, mobile, social, data-driven world. Using our proprietary Brand JuJu Index, we pinpoint opportunities to grow brands in ways that outsmart—versus outspend—the competition.


Founded in 1982, Callahan is headquartered in downtown Lawrence, Kansas with satellite offices in Torrance, California and Plano, Texas. Our clients include Eli Lilly’s Elanco Animal Health, Sprint, Toyota Motors North America, Tyson Pet Products, Central Garden and Pet and Westar Energy.