PR Team: Lexis PR
Campaign: Snug as a Bug
Timescale: June 2000 - January 2001
Budget: Estimated pounds 300,000
The winner of this year's IPR Excellence Award for Consumer
Relationships challenged the view of utility products and services as
being 'unsexy' and that consumers prefer to make their choices based on
price rather than brand loyalty.
When gas and electricity provider Powergen hired Lexis Public Relations
to promote itself to the public, the emphasis was on an attempt to stand
out and increase positive brand recognition.
Powergen hoped to gain a 'human face' and gain clear differentiation
from its competitors.
To build consumer awareness of the Powergen brand and help humanise it,
by associating the energy provider with moments in family life.
Strategy and Plan
The Lexis PR team identified bed-time as the ideal match for Powergen's
By talking around the bedtime story ritual, the energy provider could
imbue its brand with family values and simultaneously position itself as
an authority on heating and lighting issues.
Lexis commissioned psychologist Dr Arick Sigman to undertake a
three-month study into the optimum bedtime moment for youngsters,
concentrating on the best environment and practice for giving a child
the perfect night's sleep.
Sigman's findings were then used as a news hook for the media, outlining
how bed-time reading has declined by 53 per cent during just one
Ideas were provided as to how to reverse the decline, with psychological
and environmental advice for parents and guardians.
A further solution was offered in the shape of a broadcast sponsorship
with Classic FM on Sunday evenings. The aim was to produce a programme
series that introduced story-reading to children, while simultaneously
appealing to the older, reminiscent generation.
A six-week series of 'Classic Winter Tales in association with Powergen'
was developed, with stories read by celebrities including Des Lynam,
Caroline Quentin, Jerry Hall and Stephen Fry.
Measurement and Evaluation
The news creation campaign secured blanket press, TV and radio coverage
across the regional and national media, including mentions on the BBC's
Question Time, ITV Lunchtime News and Channel 5 News.
For the broadcast sponsorship initiative, RAJAR figures showed a 40 per
cent rise in child listenership (equating to more than 500,000 four to
14-year-olds) for Classic FM in the six to seven o'clock Sunday
Initial research conducted by Powergen using a consumer insight survey
proved that customer awareness of the Powergen brand increased
substantially from the start of the campaign.
This awareness was sustained throughout, in the total absence of any
When questioned as to 'why and how' they recognised the Powergen name,
most respondents referred to having seen the bed-time story research in
By identifying a universal problem in family life, then offering a
solution, the energy provider was able to secure buy-in from consumer
journalists and position itself as an authoritative voice.
Powergen has used the success and impact of the initiative as a
foundation for its marketing strategy this year.