Bilingual Ad Campaign Connects DC Residents to Utility Assistance

DC Department of Energy and Environment


The DC Department of Energy and Environment aimed to promote its Utility Discount Program, which helps low-income residents reduce their utility costs in the District of Columbia. Social Driver created a campaign that targeted those who were struggling to pay their bills or facing disconnection and coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, during which homes were serving as family spaces, workplaces, and virtual schools. To reach the most eligible DC residents, DOEE ran the campaign in both English and Spanish.


Raising Awareness of DC Utility Assistance

The DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District of Columbia, sought to raise awareness of its Utility Discount Program, which assists low-income District residents reduce their utility costs. DOEE wanted eligible DC residents to know that if they were struggling to pay their bills or were facing disconnection, that assistance with their gas, water and electric bills was available. The awareness campaign ran at the same time as many people were staying home due to Covid-19, and were relying on their homes to function as family spaces, places of work and virtual schools for their children. They knew they wanted the campaign to be in both English and Spanish to reach as many eligible DC residents as possible.


Reaching Eligible DC Residents Through Advertising

Social Driver developed DOEE’s first social media advertising strategy to reach DC residents. We targeted people using geographic and demographic information, such as including people who had recently become unemployed in DC. The ads ran on Facebook and Instagram in English and Spanish and utilized diverse photography that showed relatable families comfortable in their homes. The messaging educated people about the utility assistance program, drove people to the DOEE website to sign up for assistance, and encouraged people to comment and share the ads with their networks.


Resonating With the Right Audiences

The advertising campaign was very successful in raising awareness of the Utility Discount Program and driving website traffic and engagement with DC residents. The campaign produced impressive results:


people saw the ads


of the 19k users clicked again to return to the site


users saved the ad posts

How We helped

Digital Advertising Strategy
Custom Audience Targeting
Content Strategy & Production
Creative Direction & Production
Video within a cellphone sized window.

Instagram Reached More Spanish Speakers

DC’s Spanish-speaking audience engaged more with the ads on Instagram than Facebook. Both top-performing ads on Instagram were in Spanish and received over 2,000 clicks each. Additionally, story ad placements got more engagement than post placements, due to the ease of “swiping up” to learn more.

Inspiring People to Share the Program With Others

Top-performing ads on Facebook drove people to the website to learn more about the program and inspired many DC residents to share DOEE’s ads with their networks.

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