|Title||FREE POWER MODE|
|Product / Service||POWERSHOP|
|Category||C08. Market Disruption|
|Entrant||whiteGREY Melbourne, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation||whiteGREY Melbourne, AUSTRALIA|
|Nathan Rogers||whiteGREY||Head of Strategy|
There is a widespread misconception in Australia that renewable energy is both expensive and unreliable. As Australia’s greenest power company, Powershop needed to show Australians that renewables were a better alternative to coal-fired options. And being a much smaller player in comparison to coal-fired category giants, Powershop needed to capture attention beyond their media budget.
There are times when it’s so windy at Powershop’s wind farms that more energy is produced than can be sold. This excess wind power is a unique resource which could be used as tangible proof of how affordable and available renewable energy is. This led to the creation of ‘Free Power Mode’. A promotion that was activated whenever real weather events determined. As soon as the wind reached a certain level at Powershop’s windfarms, Free Power Mode went live. The entire business, and all of Powershop’s brand assets in market switched to this mode to give both new and existing customers free energy the day. An additional media buy was also triggered by the wind, ensuring as many Australians as possible could have their perceptions around renewables changed for the better.
Australia has an uncomfortable relationship with renewables, which is in part due to the government being supportive of a coal-fired power agenda. In 2017, the current Prime Minister even went to the extent of bringing a lump of coal into parliament to champion its benefits in the face of an opposition party who were calling for more renewable energy. This affinity for coal has fostered the misconception that renewable energy is both expensive and unreliable. As Australia’s greenest power company and generators of renewable energy, Powershop wanted to demonstrate to domestic energy consumers that renewable energy was both affordable and abundant. By giving away something Australians perceived as expensive, for free, we could not only break category conventions but also shift consumer perceptions. And by linking the giveaway to the actual weather, we could draw a tangible connection for Australians between renewable energy, and its abundance and affordability.
'Free Power Mode' was first activated for 24hrs on the 21st of August 2019 with customers, both existing and new, able to take advantage of an offer of a day’s worth of free energy. As part of the campaign all of Powershop’s owned channels went into ‘Free Power Mode’ to promote the offer, including socials, website, and direct. Radio, Digital placements, online video and display were also activated as part of the deployment of Free Power Mode. 'Free Power Mode' remains on standby as campaign that can be deployed whenever Powershop, and the wind, decides.
'Free Power Mode' caught the attention of Australia, Powershop’s competitors and the news media. •The campaign contributed to a 57% YOY sales growth for Powershop. •On launch, Powershop experienced their highest level of online activity ever. •In the month after the campaign, online sign-ups to Powershop surged 95% YOY.
With coal-fired power dominating the cultural narrative, as well as the marketplace, Powershop needed to disrupt the category to show that renewable energy was abundant and economical. A free energy giveaway linked to real time weather events (and renewable generation) was unique in-market, catching the attention of consumers, and the news media alike.