Npower keeps No Power Hour ticking on

Npower fired up the judges’ imagination at the 2010 Engage Awards and won the Utilities category for its educational “No Power Hour” campaign. It is now working to carry the message through the festive season.

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The No Power Hour is part of Npower’s ongoing Climate Cops programme designed to educate children about energy use and encourage them to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviours.

The initiative aims to encourage children to switch off their electrical devices and play for an hour without using any power.

Because the government has put the responsibility of educating consumers about energy use and environmental concerns in the hands of energy firms, Npower is required to take steps to drive these messages to consumers.

By targeting children, Npower hopes to instil lifelong habits that mean future consumers will reduce their energy use and create a more eco-minded society.

Clare McDougall, director of Npower’s education programme, masterminded the initiative and is leading the development of future No Power Hour activity.

She says: “It’s young people that you can change behaviours in. We need to create a generation that thinks differently.”

“The Xbox generation has a conscience to use less energy, we want to make sure they understand enough about the issue to make the right choices and we need to do it in a light-hearted, fun and engaging way, not by preaching.”

McDougall says for the No Power Hour campaign to work, it needs to have an element of experiential activity to “make the messages real”.

“The No Power Hour took them out of the norm and got them to do something fun and engaging, so the message sticks,” she says.

Following on from the success of the No Power Hour summer campaign at the Marketing Week Engage Awards, Npower has created an experiential activity zone as part of a Christmas campaign to encourage children to switch off their electricals and play traditional board games.

Npower is aiming to continue the core concept of No power Hour and its educational messages and build a fresh angle on it with new campaign activity throughout the year.

The concept has also been extended to target a broader age range having focussed on seven to 11 year olds at first, it now reaches out to children from four to 16, tying activity into national curriculum targets for each age group.

McDougall says: “I loved the Engage Awards, it really captured the need that brands have to engage consumers, not just talk to them.”

“Winning the utilities category at the Engage Awards really made a difference and added weight when we were fighting for budget. Having the award really proved the business case for the campaign. It showed what the education department could deliver for the brand.”

McDougall says the campaign also boosted internal engagement within the energy firm because everyone could get involved and be proud of what Npower was doing.

See what brands’ marketing Npower marketing director Kevin Peake rates here

Submissions are now being accepted for Marketing Week’s Engage Awards 2011, including the Utilities category. To find out details of how to enter and the deadline, click here.

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