RENEW Energy Partners
RENEW is a start-up specializing in energy retrofits. Their mission is twofold: to reduce emissions that cause climate change and, in doing so, to save companies and organizations money which can be reallocated to other purposes. They approached me to create a marketing video to attract new clients and appeal to new investors.
RENEW uses a novel approach that isn’t always easy to explain. Rather than dive into technical terminology and concepts that I knew would surface in interviews, I opted to take a more rudimentary approach to tell their story: I chose pictures, more specifically, animation. I partnered with artist Deb Putnoi – who I had worked with in the past – to illustrate how the RENEW technology worked and to relate a fairly complex financial arrangement. The tone was light yet still informative – and a lot of fun. I had never done animation work – nor had Deb – so it was an adventure creating characters that didn’t appear deranged (not as easy as it sounds!) and to use a medium that is by definition considered child-like in its approach, all without undermining the seriousness of RENEW’s mission. There was plenty of back and forth with the RENEW team but I think we achieved the right balance in the end.
As part of the RENEW story, we highlighted the Cambridge YMCA as a successful case study and a very happy RENEW partner. The Cambridge project was a perfect example of a small organization that needed to cut costs but couldn’t afford to invest in new technologies on its own. There are countless Cambridge YMCA’s around the country – small to mid-size operations, many non-profit, that are stuck with aging, inefficient and expensive energy facilities. RENEW’s approach is tailor made for such a market and is especially beneficial for cost-sensitive not-for-profits. Since much of the organizational work I do is with the so-called third sector, I took particular satisfaction in collaborating with a for-profit company improve the financial health of a non-profit counterpart. Win-win for sure.