Seattle was chosen as one of the 25 Solar America Cities by the US Department of Energy to develop an approach to increase use of solar energy in communities. The Washington State Legislature awarded Seattle City Light, Seattle's publicly owned electric power utility, a grant to develop an innovative community solar pilot project.
This ground-breaking venture invited Seattle City Light customers to buy a portion of the output and, in so doing, support a collectively-funded local solar energy project in Jefferson Park, thereby helping to promote renewable energy in Seattle.
These “Founding Members” receive all state incentives for the solar energy production and become proud members of an exclusive club of sun-seeking energy futurists. While seemingly quite a challenge to convince Seattleites that solar can work in rain-drenched Seattle, Sun Garden met its enrollment capacity within the year of launch.
The key was to create a brand that could evoke joy and happiness in the hearts and minds of glum Seattleites, in order to sell them on an outlandish proposition—viable solar power in Seattle! Famous for its grey skies and damp persona, our job was to elevate the spirits of the city, generate interest and understanding, and deliver on the promise.
The name invokes the concept of harvesting energy from the sun in a family-friendly way, while the visual brand language, including face-warming colors and custom typography, create a bold, enchanting appeal to delight the progressive Seattleite’s soul.
Starting with the name and working outwards, we generated a unique and identifiable brand language, in order to spark conversation and be shared within the community. We designed the brand and messaging to become quickly loved and embraced by individuals as a point of community pride.
To take it live and generate leads, our low-budget marketing strategy created everything from fun tactical advertising and creative collateral, to digital execution and brand evangelist tools.
Previous project: Better World Books