Nothing's normal, until one day it just is.
I often compare electric vehicle adoption to how cell phones rapidly proliferated twenty five years ago. I remember when cell phones first became available, and many people laughed at the thought of paying hundreds of dollars per month for one. Why would anyone want to do that when there were pay phones on practically every corner? We know how that turned out.
Electrify America's new marketing campaign called "Normal Now" aims to introduce and normalize zero-emission vehicles for the vast majority of American consumers still driving gas vehicles. To many of these people EVs represent a radical change, and humans, for the most resist change.
EVs force people to change habits and develop new routines, and that's scares people. This campaign aims to remind people that a lot of the things they use every day now were new ideas at one time, not too long ago. Perhaps that's why so many people scoffed at the idea of wanting to carry around a mobile phone back then.
In addition to the 15 online videos, there are GIFs and ads on platforms ranging from streaming TV to social media. The campaign compares EVs with other “new technologies” of the past, such as online dating and smart watches, that may have seemed weird at first but are normal now.
The Normal Now website looks like a typical website created in the 90's, to again remind us that the times and technology changes, and we simply adjust to it all the time.
This ad campaign reminds me a lot of BMW's 2015 Superbowl ad when they featured Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel in a flashback to 1994 discussing some new technology called "internet". The ad then moves forward to current times with them driving in a BMW i3 as they now wonder about this new automotive technology.
In any event, it's good to see advertising dollars finally getting spent on electric vehicle awareness and education, even if it's court-mandated funds. Part of normalizing a thing is exposing it to people as much as possible. Seeing these EV commercials, YouTube videos and ads on social media are definitely a step in the right direction.
Electrify America Unveils Humorous Brand-Neutral Marketing Campaign to Help Normalize Electric Vehicle Ownership
New digitally driven effort part of a $2 billion investment to encourage ZEV adoption
Reston, VA (August 19, 2019) – Electrify America, a leader in fast-charging for electric vehicles (EV), today launched its newest brand-neutral marketing campaign titled “Normal Now.” The multifaceted digital campaign will kick off nationwide with a new informational website - www.NormalNow.com – as well as online videos, streaming TV ads, digital banner ads, social media ads, paid search, and streaming audio and podcast.
The “Normal Now” campaign aims to introduce and normalize zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) for the vast majority of Americans who are not aware of or have never considered switching to a zero-emission vehicle. Through comical :15 videos, GIFs and still images, the “Normal Now” campaign draws comparisons between “new technology” of the past - including cell phones, smart watches and online dating - and what is assuredly the transportation method of the future. The campaign explores how scary previous forms of “new technology” were at first and reinforces that - just like EVs - while it may have seemed weird at first, it’s normal now.
“A large percentage of the car buying public cite functional concerns about EVs, like range anxiety, charge time and cost, as reasons why they wouldn’t drive electric; however, the Normal Now campaign is inspired by the insight that there is actually a deeper, more emotional set of barriers standing in the way of consideration and adoption,” said Richard Steinberg, Senior Director of Green Cities, Marketing and Communications at Electrify America. “We believe that fear of change and lack of exposure to EVs in pop culture is making people view electric vehicles as too different from what they’re used to, and therefore are striving to normalize EVs with this latest educational campaign.”
This brand-neutral campaign, developed with creative agency Eleven, will run nationally through December 2021.
"Yes, people scratched their heads when the flying machine, computer, and cell phone were introduced, but soon after these advancements became woven into our everyday lives,” said Mike McKay, Chief Creative Officer, Eleven. “We believe the electric car is becoming fully embraced as well, and our Normal Now campaign is a simple reminder that electric cars are here to stay."
The digital-only campaign, which includes some elements that will also be available in Spanish, is part of a $42 million education and public awareness initiative. Electrify America, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, is investing $2 billion over a 10-year period in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure and awareness.
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About Electrify America
Electrify America LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America headquartered in Reston, VA, and with an office in Pasadena, CA, is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. For more information, visit www.electrifyamerica.com. For media, visit www.media.electrifyamerica.com .
Eleven is a creative agency in San Francisco that sits at the intersections of branding, advertising, design, and media. Eleven's approach translates business, brand and product strategy into design experiences, creative content, and social conversations that connect with and surround the consumer. Eleven's culture and process is influenced by the tech industry of the Bay Area, and clients span early to late stage startups as well as established brands such as Google, Apple, Dignity Health, Visa, Chevrolet, Shipt, SurveyMonkey, GetAround, Western Governors University, Kleiner Perkins, and E&J Gallo. In 2017, Eleven was recognized as Advertising Age's Silver Small Agency of the Year in the U.S. In 2018, Eleven was named Advertising Age's West Coast Silver Agency of the Year and was awarded the honor of B-to-B Campaign of the Year for their NCAA work with Google Cloud.