Energy is one of the most confusing industries for consumers; a state-wide campaign aimed to help consumers take charge.
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Off the back of an independent review of energy retail in Victoria, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), commissioned a campaign to encourage increased use of its independent energy comparison website, Victorian Energy Compare (VEC).
Energy remains an area where consumer literacy is low, trust in the industry is low, and prices appear to be rising in ways out of step with decreasing consumption. Consumers feel disempowered by confusing marketing, complicated pricing, and a homogenous product offering. And as an essential service, they are denied the opportunity to simply exit the market altogether.
What the energy consumer wants is to regain control, to “take charge”.
DELWP wanted to show Victorians that it was possible to do so. Working with Ellis Jones, together we developed a campaign to encourage the Victorian public to compare energy offers and switch to better plans — lowering their bills, and through informed, empowered participation in the retail market, in turn placing further downward pressure on energy prices.
Underpinned by this understanding of the energy consumer’s needs, Ellis Jones created the campaign strategy and creative concept for the Victorian Government’s Take Charge consumer awareness campaign. Channels for the distribution of this campaign included a mix of mainstream TV, radio, and digital media, in combination with targeted digital display, social and content marketing – with executions designed to speak to specific groups of audiences.
Informed by established behaviour change models, the strategy discerns four primary pillars that anchor all elements including: normalising comparison behaviours from other consumer choices to energy offers; moving from consumer pains to gains; promoting use of VEC in times when energy choices are more likely; and providing feedback that serves to validate the choice to compare and encourage others.
During the campaign, awareness of government energy comparison tools doubled. The campaign’s key message, that energy consumers can save on bills by comparing energy providers, was successfully communicated with 75% of Victorians understanding that they can save money, and 73% understanding that they could compare energy providers by using Victorian Energy Compare.
Over 1 in 5 Victorians (22%) recall seeing the Take Charge campaign across television, radio or digital. Additionally, the universality of the campaign was effectively demonstrated, leading to 64% of LOTE and CALD Victorians stating that the campaign was relevant to them.
This success can be drawn back to a cohesive strategy, focused on simple plain language messaging, careful casting, and applying behavioural insights that attracted Victorians to engage and “take charge” as a result of the campaign.