Tesla Model S: Gallons of Light

I‘m passionate about telling stories of innovation and sustainability. Why? Well, it’s simple. We’re heading out of the industrial era and into a new age in which many of our products and practices have to be re-imagined. New stories are needed to accelerate this shift.

Just look at the automobile. Worldwide, there are over 1 billion cars and trucks using engine technology that is over 100 years old.  The byproducts of this technology – greenhouse gasses and countless other pollutants – are making us and our planet sick.  Yet amazing progress is being made with both hybrid and electric cars, not to mention increased fuel efficiency and the promise of hydrogen technology.

So, how does the Tesla Model S fit into this picture? Well, it’s a state of the art electric vehicle that charges on sunshine…for free.

This was a story I had to tell.


Create a campaign on the Tesla Model S, Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year. Show that long range travel is finally accessible to electrical vehicle owners…at zero cost.


Tesla’s motto is “we love our customers.” So, the the campaign needed to be authentic and involve a real Tesla owner. To reflect the premium, groundbreaking nature of the product, high production value was also a must.


Capture a real family’s first road trip in their new Tesla Model S. Use Tesla’s network of solar-powered Superchargers to fuel the journey.


The campaign was tweeted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and distributed across Tesla’s social media channels. Over 100k YouTube views. Press coverage from FastCompany, AutoBlog Green, Current TV and many more. Countless discussions on Tesla forums, from debates on the nature of electric vehicle advertising to passionate requests for the commercial to be aired.

(click logos to view press)

Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.

As life’s agents, it’s on our shoulders.

Elon Musk, Tesla Co-founder and CEO

With “Gallons of Light”, the goal was to show how a family could enjoy nature without harming it. For inspiration, I turned to Thomas Kolster’s book Goodvertising. With countless case studies on advertising campaigns that made a difference in the world…what more could you ask for?

A key element to the piece was the voice over narration. I needed to tell the story of the family’s journey, explain the technology of the Superchargers and create an emotional connection with the audience.

For the task, I partnered with author and advertising copywriter, Kathy Hepinstall. Kathy was intrigued about the idea of a car being fueled by sunlight, and when I read the phrase “per gallon of light” in her script, it all clicked.

This was about more than just a commercial. “Gallons of Light” had real campaign potential.

New stories are necessary to change the world.

Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight




You might be asking, “what’s next?”  It’s quite simple: use my talents as a storyteller for the betterment of humanity.

Will you join me?

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