Westar Energy and Callahan win top honors for utility communications

Sep 26, 2017

Chartwell Ad Award logoWestar Energy took top honors in the communications category of Chartwell’s 2017 Best Practices Awards for the Renewable Future campaign, developed in partnership with marketing agency Callahan. Westar Energy’s 60-second wind energy cinema spot was also named a top-five people’s choice finalist, which recognizes outstanding creative achievement in short video marketing/communications efforts.

Chartwell’s EMACS Customer Experience Conference attendees in Phoenix, Arizona will select the top video at a luncheon on Oct. 12. Westar Energy’s Digital and Marketing Communications Director Dave Clauson will also present results from the Gold Award-winning Renewable Future campaign at the conference.

Chartwell’s Best Practices Awards recognize excellence among electric and gas utilities. Renewable Future won the Gold Communications award for presenting humanizing 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 an overall 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 to outsmart—versus outspend—the competition.


Founded in 1982, Callahan has been headquartered in downtown Lawrence, Kansas since 1999, with an office in Torrance, California and a new office opening in Plano, Texas in August 2017. Our clients include Eli Lilly’s Elanco Animal Health, Sprint, Toyota Motor North America, Tyson Pet Products, Central Garden and Pet and Westar Energy.