EDF Energy considers brand hubs in UK

London 2012 sponsor could open educatonal centres across the UK to show families how to be more energy efficient if the public reaction to its offical Olympic venue is postive, according to its deputy director for London 2012.

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The utilities company is opening the Pavillion inside the Olympic Park next week (27 July) and will use it to talk to visitors about the “magic of electricity”.

It aims to “entertain” and “inform” visitors with a series of displays about managing the use of energy better as well as letting them power a dynamic light installation by using hand pedals or by jumping up and down on a special floor to generate electricity.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Hubert Blanquefort deputy director for EDF Energy’s London 2012 programme, says the hub marks the first time that people can actually experience the brand and adds that the business will look at setting up a similar hub elsewhere in the UK.

He adds: “We’re a utilities business in the sense that we bring core things to people however I do think that we’re more than that. [The Paviliion] will go someway to proving that and is a key landmark for us.

“If we find that this is the right way to talk to people about how we generate electricity and really bring the brand to the public then I think we might think about doing something similar in central London or elsewhere in the UK.”

Blanquefort, who is heading up the company’s Pavilion project, says that the concept of having a branded hub ties closely to the company’s long-term strategy to have its Olympic activity educate customers as well as non-customers about how to use energy sustainably.

“The Pavilion is part of a larger story but plays a key role. It’s the first time that the general public can actually touch the brand in a certain way, which is not always the case, he adds.

“For us one of the main things is [identifying] how can we make sure that we interact and entertain people. We don’t want to be preachy we don’t want to be boring so one of the things that we are keen to do is talk about the magic of electricity and how people use it as part of their everyday lives.”

The hub will be open throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will run alongside the company’s advertising campaign to promote its sponsorship of the event.

Other sponsors such as Heineken, BMW and Coca-Cola are set to open experiential centres in and around the Olympic in the site in the coming weeks as they look to maximise their exclusivity rights to the event.

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