Edf Promo, Case study SUNRISE BEFORE DAYBREAK by Weber Shandwick London

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Industry Energy & Water Utilities
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Weber Shandwick London
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events, Stunts and or Celebrity Endorsement
Advertiser: EDF ENERGY
Product/Service: ENERGY PROVIDER
Senior Director: Rebecca Grant (Weber Shandwick)
Account Director: Kat McGettigan (Weber Shandwick)
Account Director: Ann Burton (Weber Shandwick)
Associate Director: Leila Bateman (Weber Shandwick)
Account Manager: Hollie Adamson (Weber Shandwick)
Senior Account Executive: Sally Phillips (Weber Shandwick)
Assistant Account Executive: Hannah Stewart (Weber Shandwick)
Account Manager: Ross Haddow (Weber Shandwick)
Senior Account Manager: Judy Ingber (Weber Shandwick)
Associate Director Digital: Naomi Dulfer (Weber Shandwick)
Managing Director: Rachel Friend (Weber Shandwick)
Business Director: Kelly Parker (MPG)
Group Account Director: Rebekah Cavanagh (MPG)
Account Manager: Scott Braniff (MPG)
Head of Account Management: Gareth Davies (Euro RSCG)
Planner: Sam Alonso (Euro RSCG)
Account Director: Devanshi Asher (Euro RSCG)
Art Director: Jamie Colonna (Euro RSCG)
Copywriter: Dominic Gettins (Euro RSCG)
Media placement: Research Press Release - Various Including The Daily Telegraph, Metro, Manchester Evening News And Yorksh - 23rd January 2011
Media placement: Live Broadcast - ITV's Daybreak - 25th January 2011
Media placement: Launch Day Print Press - Various Including Evening Standard, I, Daily Star, Metro, The Scotsman And First - 25th January 2011
Media placement: Launch Day Online Coverage - Various Including Mail Online, The Sun.co.uk, Mirror.co.uk And Metro.co.uk - 25th January 2011
Summary of the Campaign
The chance to use an iconic landmark to illustrate an environmental message doesn’t come along very often. At the start of 2011, EDF Energy wanted to make the most of its new sponsorship of the London Eye, the 135m observation wheel on the River Thames that is one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions.
EDF Energy, part of the Europe-wide EDF Group, produces around one-fifth of the UK’s electricity, supplying more than 5.5 million business and residential customers. The company is committed to inspiring Brits to adopt a low carbon lifestyle.
EDF Energy’s PR team came up with the idea of lighting up the wheel for a low carbon ‘sunrise before daybreak’, and worked with logistics specialists to light up the London Eye using as little energy as possible. Just before dawn on 25 January, the display was switched on and the London Eye was transformed into a glowing ‘sunrise’ visible across the city. Celebrity and Olympic ambassadors supported the launch.
It was a true water cooler moment: the team created a stunning, symbolic image that captured the public and the media’s imagination and showcased the London Eye as an icon of a sustainable future enabled by low carbon power.
The Situation
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and its largest producer of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is committed to lowering Britain’s carbon output while ‘keeping the lights on’, and is the first Sustainability Partner of London 2012.
Late 2010, the company became the partner of the London Eye, the 135m wheel on the South Bank of the Thames. The iconic landmark was renamed the EDF Energy London Eye. EDF Energy asked its PR agency to promote the partnership, and use the opportunity to continue its drive to inspire Brits to live a low carbon lifestyle.
The Goal
• Create a ‘water cooler moment’ that would deliver high levels of traditional, online and social media coverage
• Communicate EDF Energy’s drive to encourage consumers across the UK to embrace a low carbon lifestyle
• Raise awareness of EDF Energy’s connection with the London Eye.
The agency researched previous promotional activity to ensure the execution would be fresh and innovative. An event logistics specialist carried out feasibility surveys. The team planned for potential criticism that a French company was ‘taking over’ a British landmark, or that EDF Energy was ‘wasting’ energy to make a point about sustainability.
The Strategy
The strategy was to create a stunning visual display: a symbolic vision of a low carbon London to inspire the British people to reduce their carbon footprint. The team planned to illuminate the London Eye using light inside its 32 capsules to produce a ‘sunrise before daybreak’. The initiative would also involve working with celebrity and sporting ambassadors to communicate EDF Energy’s messages of inspiration and sustainability.
This was a challenge: the agency had to plan the execution in a short time frame, with complex logistics and strict guidelines governing experiential activity at the London Eye. It is an enormous structure - the size of two football pitches - and the costs associated with activity are above average.
To help decide on the best moment to launch the light display ahead of dawn, the PR team commissioned a cameraman to film the natural daybreak over the London Eye in advance.
• The display was created using energy-efficient discharge searchlights, only using 270kWh of electricity - the annual consumption of an energy-efficient freezer.
• The results of a survey that found consumers take sustainability most seriously when they are moving home or becoming parents were sold in to newsdesks.
• Just before dawn on 25 January, the display was launched by celebrity mum Myleene Klass and the London Eye was transformed into a ‘sunrise’.
• ITV breakfast show Daybreak filmed a live weather segment during the display. Capital FM ran live commentary. London’s Metro newspaper carried a ‘sunrise’ wrap.
• Proximity advertising in Waterloo train station was negotiated by a media buying agency with creatives by an advertising agency.
• Myleene, Paralympic rower Tom Aggar and an EDF Energy director carried out numerous radio interviews.
• B-roll with top green tips was posted on YouTube with time-lapse footage of the stunt.
Documented Results
The campaign was a true water cooler moment, delivering acres of coverage. It raised awareness of the partnership while communicating EDF Energy’s drive to inspire consumers to embrace a low carbon lifestyle:
• 40 press photographers and camera crews attended the display
• Broadcast coverage on ITN’s London Tonight and ITV breakfast show Daybreak
• 315 pieces of print, media and online coverage (27 national print, 80 radio)
• Image was splashed across London’s Evening Standard and Metro newspapers, and national newspapers including the concise version of the Independent, the Daily Star, and the Scotsman
• 391 social media mentions on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs (215 on launch day).
• 97% of coverage featured a key message. After ‘EDF Energy London Eye’ name-checks, 63% referred to ‘Inspiring people to take action against climate change’ (source: Kantar Media Precis)
• The campaign delivered £615,000 AVE and 53m cumulative reach/OTS.