EDF: Energy of the Nation

Launch date: 19th July 2012


EDF Energy – the UK’s largest producer of low carbon electricity – was the official electricity supplier to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

EDF Energy wanted to celebrate its Olympic sponsorship with a consumer engagement campaign that would bring its new brand positioning –‘Feel Better Energy’- to life. The aims of the Energy of the Nation campaign were:

  • Drive awareness of EDF Energy’s sponsorship of the London Eye and London 2012, with a specific target of becoming the third most recognised domestic sponsor.
  • Create an original brand activation to articulate and connect the public with the ‘Feel Better Energy’ brand proposition
  • Position EDF Energy at the heart of the action throughout London 2012
  • Deliver high quality national editorial and wide-reaching online consumer conversation

The campaign aimed to reach anyone who wanted to be part of the conversation around the Olympics.

Strategy and details of activity

Experiential agency Ignite suggested illuminating the EDF Energy London Eye to show how Brits were feeling about the Games, turning the iconic London landmark into the world’s first social media powered light show.

Ignite working with a sentiment analysis expert and MIT graduates to develop an algorithm that would identify and read every tweet originating from the UK relating to London 2012. Tweets were analysed for positive and negative sentiment to provide a real time visualisation of the mood of the nation throughout the Games and a deliver a daily % score. The data fed into a spectacular nightly light show powered by low-carbon electricity, turning the London Eye into a giant barometer of emotion.

Weber Shandwick took the experiential idea and exploded it into a fully-integrated international media and blogger/influencer campaign that engaged journalists and the UK public.

Activity included a media day with the MIT ‘boffins’, a Hub within mission control allowing London Eye visitors to see the technology at work, ITN’s News at Ten interviewing ambassador Daley Thompson, and a daily calendar of stories and infographics to maintain media and social media momentum as the light show continued to reflect the public’s jubilation at Team GB’s success."


This was far more than just a publicity stunt: it was a brand’s first major foray into social media, with phenomenal results. EDF Energy outclassed other established Olympic sponsors in terms of editorial coverage during the Games:

  • EDF Energy was the No.1 domestic sponsor of the Games by awareness (Ipsos)
  • 16,595 visitors to Mission Control (target 12,000)
  • 49% of visitors felt more positive about EDF Energy;79% knew it was a Games sponsor (DC Storm)
  • Twitter reach was 13.6 million; 97% positive; 10,000+ social shares (Precise/MPG Media)
  • 369 pieces of print/online coverage; 2:48hrs of global broadcast; reach 260 million. Coverage was 93% positive and 99% branded (Precise)
  • 49% included EDF Energy in the headline/top third, vs adidas 32%; BMW 20% (Precise)
  • 46,474 views of live streamed lightshow (DC Storm, MPG Media)
  • Facebook fans increased by 379% and Twitter followers by 222% (MPG Media)"

Business outcome

Energy of the Nation successfully engaged consumers, linked EDF Energy with its Games sponsorship, and effectively brought the ‘Feel Better Energy’ positioning to life – a huge achievement for a company in a traditionally ‘feel bad’ category. Consumers responded to EDF Energy more like a well-loved FMCG brand. It spent much less than some big brands but came second only to McDonald’s in terms of social media impact.

EDF Energy brand director Andrew Brown said: ‘Energy of the Nation was a bold, innovative campaign that resulted in impressive national and international coverage, and generated unprecedented positive consumer conversation around the brand. As well as helping EDF Energy to be ranked as the No.1 domestic sponsor of London 2012, it drove true integration across internal teams. Energy of the Nation is now a model for our campaigns, and we are proud to have been part of such a fantastic feel better Games’.

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