The campaign is a change from the energy supplier’s usual price-focused efforts, encapsulating a shift to what has claimed is more customer-orientated. It revolves around a TV advert, launched this weekend (4 October) that boasts of how “proud” it is to power over 9 million UK homes and businesses.
The Adam&EveDDB-created ad introduces Maya the Orangutan, who travels from a rainforest to a city where she marvels at how energy makes a difference to everyday lives. From a gas cooker heating a meal in a restaurant to the electricity powering a grandfather’s laptop as he talks to his grandchildren, SSE says the ad aims to highlight the “actions it is taking to make a difference”.
SSE has spent the last year developing the concept, hiring former Mars marketing director Jenny Ashmore last August to communicated a revamp of its customer service commitments. The commitments form part of a wider charter to help people save money, make their lives easier and offer timely assistance.
Will Morris, SSE Group managing director for retail, says: “We want to communicate with our current and prospective customers in a way that is engaging and this campaign seeks to do that. It captures the wonderful things energy enables us to do in our lives and highlights SSE’s actions to make a difference for customers and the UK energy sector as a whole – making it more affordable, simple and rewarding.”
YouTube content, produced in partnership with some of the platform’s most popular talent will develop the concept further in the coming months. The campaign will also promote the SSE Reward scheme, which is being used to showcase its burgeoning entertainment offering at the SSE Arena Wembley and SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
SSE, which is the only UK supplier to freeze standard energy prices until 2016, hopes the ad restores some of the trust it has lost over the last 18 months following criticisms from Ofgem, the Government and consumer groups over soaring bill prices. The energy supplier’s brand took a heavy knock last year after it was fined £10.5m by the industry regulator for repeatedly mis-selling services.
SSE’s customer-led shift reflects a wider marketing change affecting the rest of the Big Six energy providers in the wake of reforms from Ofgem earlier this year. Suppliers have been forced to simplify their tariffs so that customers can find the best deals more easily, a move that has heaped pressure on brand building to woo customers in a market where prices are more comparable.