Ovo Energy preps first TV brand campaign to ‘shake’ Big Six’s dominance

Challenger energy brand Ovo Energy is embarking on its first brand campaign to capitalise on its rising profile and shake the Big Six’s hold over the market.

Ovo is using its first brand campaign to introduce its refreshed logo and positioning around values.

The campaign launches next week (14 February) when it will introduce the brand’s updated logo alongside its refreshed positioning around the potential savings customers can make and the relationship they could have with their supplier.

It marks the four-year old brand’s debut on TV with a playful advert encouraging people to break up with their supplier from Valentine’s Day onwards. The ad twists a marriage-counselling scenario by replacing the couple with a bickering customer and energy provider that confuse a hapless mediator.

The TV spot will be backed by social media, PR, outdoor and direct marketing activity detailing its offering of just four tariffs. Ovo is hoping the awareness push weighs on consumers’ minds following Ofgem’s tariff reforms last month (2 January) that limit suppliers to just four per customer.

The move is a shift away from the low-key marketing initiatives such as search and email to “high-impact” creative capable of cutting through to customers.

Charlie Smith, marketing director at Ovo, told Marketing Week it has spent the last six months working on the strategy in the belief it is capable of unsettling the likes of British Gas and SSE at a time when the British public is “up in arms” over energy prices and increasingly switching providers.

Around 20,000 new customers flocked to the business in the weeks following a Parliamentary Select committee hearing into the industry last October. And while the company’s total 150,000 households pales in comparison with the almost 8 million who buy from British Gas, it has plans to grow to more than 1 million over the next four years.

Smith adds: “We’ve consistently grown over the last four years and now have the confidence to invest significant sums into raising awareness and consideration for the brand. We want people to feel loved again and feel like they can have an energy supplier they actually like.

“Energy isn’t a high interest category so we’ve tried to come up with really simple messaging that highlights things like how we make sure new and existing customers are on the cheapest tariff and the fact that we give 3 per cent interest back to accounts in credit.”

The move is underpinned by what Ovo says is a long-term transformation into a social brand. It is investing in its website, Facebook and Twitter profiles to encourage people to use them as a spaces for discussing the energy sector as well as sharing energy saving tips.    

The company is looking to expand its marketing team to fuel its growth and is looking to hire marketers skilled in content creation and social media.

Smith says: “We’re working towards a platform agnostic approach so that we can hit as many people as we can when they are talking about the industry.”