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Utah DEQ Premiers Three Quirky PSAs Aimed at Protecting Utahns

Sep 19, 2016 10:56AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Press Release submitted to City Journals


SALT LAKE CITY The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is rolling out a series of new PSA videos that use humor to motivate Utahns to protect Utah’s environment. The quirky videos were created to catch the attention of residents, while highlighting three of the state’s top environmental issues.

“Our scientists who work on environmental solutions day-in and day-out know that they work for a public that needs accurate and up-to-date information so that they can become citizen-partners in protecting the state we all love,” said Amy Christensen, deputy director of communications for DEQ.  “As we celebrate a 25-year legacy as a state agency this month, we wanted to be more engaged with a Utah public that has become more environmentally aware. And it’s always easier to remember important information when you can find the humor in the situation.”

Each of the three :30 spots centers on an environmental issue important to Utah: air inversions, radon home testing and clean water. The informational PSA videos feature Phil, a misinformed environmental enthusiast who produces his own video series, “The Utah Enviro-minute,” filmed in his basement. In each of the three videos, Phil hosts a scientist-guest on his show—someone both knowledgeable and helpful in correcting his shoot-from-the hip answers to questions Phil receives as tweets. He hopes to impress his DEQ guest and his fan base subscribers—which amount to few more than his mom and a maybe a neighbor or two.

“These videos accurately depict the DEQ as an approachable and scientifically-credible agency, while delivering an important environmental message in an unanticipated way,” said Christensen. “We wanted to attract Utah residents with unique and playful content that creates a shared comedic experience, ultimately recruiting more partners in pollution prevention.”

The quirky videos were created and produced by the Salt Lake City creative agency Struck and production company Saint Cloud. Struck also recently worked with the Utah DEQ on the state agency’s fresh brand identity for the Department and its five divisions. The branding effort was aimed at increasing awareness of the DEQ’s purpose and situating the agency as an important leader of environmental conversations, a reliable source for scientific information and a leader of Utah’s environmental solutions.

“The DEQ’s new brand positions the agency as approachable, human, relatable and credible. In order to motivate the citizenry to engage further with the DEQ, the PSA videos needed to feel just as friendly and unexpected,” explains Struck creative director Alexandra Fuller. “My team and I at Struck are Utah citizens, too. We all are invested in protecting the health of our shared environment. And, we all know someone like Phil: a well-meaning, but grossly misinformed conspiracy theorist whose beliefs make you raise an eyebrow, even while you’re suppressing a smirk.”

The informational PSAs will be made available online, and on broadcast television for six months beginning this week. Viewers can ask their own environmental questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskDEQnotPhil, and should expect to receive two responses–one from Phil and the other from the DEQ. Follow both accounts to watch the humor and facts unfold.

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About DEQ

Established in 1991, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) mission is to safeguard public health and quality of life by protecting and enhancing the environment. DEQ implements state and federal environmental laws and works with individuals, community groups and businesses to protect the quality of Utah’s air, land and water. For more information, visit www.deq.utah.gov, follow DEQ on Facebook (utahdeq) and Twitter (UtahDEQ), or call 1-800-458-0145.

ABOUT STRUCK

Struck is a well-rounded creative agency with offices in Salt Lake City, Portland and Los Angeles. Struck believes in making brands “Greater Than” through forward thinking, breakthrough creativity and interactive innovation. The agency develops powerful brand solutions and experiences for clients such as the Jack in the Box, Nickelodeon, Utah Office of Tourism, Experience Scottsdale, Creminelli and Universal Studios. For more information, please visit struck.com.     

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