Halliburton goes on airwaves in Colorado (video)

WASHINGTON — Halliburton Co. is hitting the airwaves in Colorado on Wednesday with a new television ad meant to burnish the image of the Houston-based oilfield service firm and the hydraulic fracturing operations it conducts across the United States.

The 30-second spot, which features a young, hard-hat-wearing employee named Gabby walking among shiny red trucks, is set to air in both Spanish and English across the state, which has become a battleground for fights over oil and gas regulation.

“This is my father; he’s an engineer just like me,” Gabby says in the ad. “My father brought our family here from Paraguay to give our family a better life. Because of the opportunity that Halliburton gave me, I’m following in his footsteps.”

It is Halliburton’s second venture into broadcast advertising; the first commercial, which is still running, also focused on Colorado, where the company has about 1,900 employees and is looking to hire 150 more.

“We want to recruit the best people and believe these advertisements will help us reach them,” said Emily Mir, director of communications and community initiatives for the firm.

Related story: Houston companies join fracking fray in Colorado

“Many other companies in the energy sector are currently hiring in Colorado, so there is a lot of competition for talent right now,” Mir added. “We believe that if potential recruits know about the extraordinary people who already work for Halliburton in Colorado, we will be their first choice.”

Mir said Halliburton was spending six figures on the ad buy, which will also be promoted through social media and directs viewers to a website about the company’s involvement in Colorado.

Colorado’s airwaves have been crowded with oil- and gas-related advertising for months, as a possible November  ballot initiative loomed that would have quadrupled the setback required between homes and drilling operations and added a new environmental bill of rights to the state’s constitution. Political leaders reached a deal nearly two weeks ago that keeps those measures off the ballot, in favor of a new commission that will make recommendations on oil and gas regulations to the state legislature.

But depending upon what the commission recommends, anti-drilling measures could be revived in two years; some environmentalists have vowed to renew the push in 2016.

Read more: Colorado compromise aims to head off fracking showdown

The possibility of ongoing campaigns is keeping the measure on the public relations front-burner.

For example Houston-based Noble Energy Co. has been running a commercial in the state that features Noble Energy employees scaling a rock face and an announcer highlighting the firm’s commitment to Colorado’s energy and environment.

“When people depend on you, you go above and beyond to protect what matters most; it’s about trust,” the ad says. “At Noble Energy we’re keeping our commitment to deliver energy to Colorado’s communities. We’re taking a stand, doing what’s right and working hard every day to live up to our name.”

Separately, Noble has joined Anadarko Petroleum Corp., based in The Woodlands, in funding the group Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, which has been running its own ads highlighting the “full oil and natural gas potential of (Colorado’s) shale resources.”

Read more: Anadarko & Noble launch campaign to tout tracking to wary Westerners

Much of the oil company advertising in the state has been broadly designed to promote the work they do and the brands behind it.  Some commercials also seek to illustrate the industry’s decades-long history in the state and cast the companies as good corporate citizens.

Halliburton’s ads, for instance, come with the tagline: “Part of Colorado’s energy industry since 1940.” And its first spot focused on how the company brought equipment and volunteers to help clean up after flooding in Colorado last year.