This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 17, 2008

DOE and Ad Council Launch Energy Efficiency Campaigns for Kids

DOE launched two new energy efficiency campaigns for kids on September 12: "What's your Excuse?," which is focused on the 8-12 "tween" market, and a Tinker Bell-themed campaign for 8- to 9-year-olds. The two campaigns were developed in partnership with the Advertising Council and are designed to educate children about the importance of energy efficiency. "What's your Excuse?" encourages tweens to save energy at home with a 10-step energy action plan, and includes tips, games, and downloads posted on a Web site called "Lose Your Excuse." The campaign is supported by the pro bono efforts of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, which developed public service announcements (PSAs) for television, radio, outdoor, and Web media. The Tinker Bell campaign consists of television, online, and outdoor PSAs created by the Ad Council to educate children about positive energy saving habits. The campaign directs children to visit the kids section of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Web site. See the DOE press release, the Lose Your Excuse Web site, and the EERE Kids Web site.

The Ad Council has also teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Ogilvy New York to launch a campaign that encourages people to drive less. The "Ride, Don't Drive" PSAs urge U.S. residents to take advantage of carpooling, mass transit, and bicycling to save money while reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. The PSAs will be distributed online and to television stations throughout the country. It may be hard to judge the success of the campaign, though, as public transit ridership has been on the increase lately. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), ridership in 2007 was the highest in 50 years, and ridership in the second quarter of 2008 was 5.2% higher than in 2007. In fact, a recent APTA poll revealed that 85% of public transit agencies are experiencing capacity problems. See the EDF press release and the APTA press releases on ridership and capacity issues.