OVO Energy: From Challenger to Leader

OVO Energy is on a mission to make energy cheaper, greener and simpler. Positioning themselves as the environmentally friendly energy supplier, they've been on a journey from challenger brand, to welcoming over one million customers and planting over one million trees. This is our story.

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BACKGROUND

When we started working with OVO in 2015 they were a pure performance brand using siloed TV, print and online performance channels. Gradually we convinced OVO that delivering media with synergy across a communications journey meant we could deliver plans greater than the sum of their parts. Response rates subsequently doubled for activity and significantly reduced CPAs (>20%), while also over-delivering our new customer acquisition targets by 17%. 

CHALLENGE

Although we successfully implemented these cross-channel learnings, the time came when we had saturated performance media and were essentially picking fruit from the tree without having watered it. It was time to deliver higher-level activity which would generate further demand. 

OPPORTUNITY

OVO’s first through-the-line brand campaign would be rooted in our fundamental understanding of their most valuable audience, ‘Mainstream Progressives’ who could generate buzz about powering their lives with a green energy company. Driving consideration was no mean feat - especially when, at best, consumers were completely uninterested in the category - and, at worst, vehemently distrusted it. 


APPROACH

Armed with bold creative from advertising agency Uncommon, in 2018 we delivered OVO’s first integrated campaign, using linear TV (see 60" ad below), OOH, video-on-demand, online video, and online performance media. We adopted ‘the missionary’ challenger principles and maintained relevance by marrying creative messages to hot topics.

By April we’d hit our prompted brand awareness goal for H1, and 1 in 5 people said they’d seen the ad during the campaign. 

For the first time ever, ‘green’ became one of the words most associated with OVO. 

We had successfully relaunched and repositioned OVO Energy as the go-to green energy company.

In 2019 OVO put their money where their mouth is and committed to having every customer on a carbon neutral energy tariff by 2030, while also pledging to help them reduce their overall (non-energy) carbon footprint by 50% as part of their ‘membership’ tariff OVO Beyond.

A first for the category: pollution eating - earned media generating - PURETi poster

We launched the product with a 100% carbon neutral integrated campaign, making sure their marketing walked the walk as well as talking the talk.

We used audio, social and online performance media, alongside OOH (powered by renewable energy where possible, and working with the Carbon Trust to offset when it wasn’t). In Manchester we made the issue of climate change unignorable by surrounding the Conservative party conference with our ads. We even had a pollution eating - earned media generating - PURETi poster. A first for the category.


RESULTS

Consideration for OVO Energy has increased as a result of the campaign: 40% of people who saw the ads are likely to switch within the next six months*. While we’re immensely proud of the results we’ve delivered to date, we’re even more excited to work with OVO on their next phase of growth. Having recently acquired SSE, our next challenge is to help them grow from #2 to #1 in the UK energy sector.

*System 1 brand tracking

Plan Zero: OVO's strategy to drive progress to zero carbon living through the twin pillars of power and people

The Specialist Works

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