At this early stage of industry development, what SolarCity needs more than anything else is mental availability. It designs, finances, and installs solar power systems. In a new industry, the provider that comes to mind first will grow the fastest. SolarCity has found a device to get them that mental availability—a surprising and fun visual metaphor. SolarCity brings the sun to life in the form of the ancient Egyptian sun god, Ra. In keeping with Egyptian tradition, Ra is a well-muscled man with the head of a falcon or hawk. SolarCity puts Ra to work for its customers doing mundane things like vacuuming and trimming bushes.
A man in Egyptian dress with the head of a bird of prey is attention-getting and memorable and instantly identifies the advertiser as SolarCity.
The reward suggested by SolarCity is not reducing carbon emissions, saving the planet, or even saving money. A lot of people aren’t worried about climate change. Cost savings may or may not occur and won’t happen right away. SolarCity is promising something immediate and certain–putting the sun to work for you doing everyday jobs around the house. Anyone would be interested.
The ads also tell viewers about SolarCity customers. Viewers learn customers are not elitist tree-huggers, but ordinary folks watching a game or coming home from work.
Solar is sold as self-interest for the common person.