Direct Energy, based in Houston, is one of North America’s largest providers of electricity, natural gas, and home services with more than five million residential and commercial customers.
The reality of retail electricity is that it’s a low engagement category. Consumers only think about their electricity provider a few times a year, such as when it’s time to renew or if they receive an unexpectedly large energy bill. When consumers do look to switch electricity providers, there is a lack of differentiation in offers and messaging.
This campaign is designed to stand out among homogenous competitors with a unique offer—over 100 Days of Free Power. That’s free electricity every weekend, 52 weekends a year. Plus an Amazon Echo Dot.
The message is direct and simple. It fights the consumer perception that all electricity providers offer the same confusing offers.
And it gave me an opportunity to create some really fun radio spots:
“Nice Vacation” (30): ISCI: DERTX318R100
BAILEY: When you dial Pound 250 and say Direct Energy, you can sign up for over 100 Days of Free Weekend Power – plus an Amazon Echo Dot.
That’s more than three months of free electricity.
That’s longer than summer vacation. That’s longer than anyone’s vacation.
That’s 52 weekends to binge watch heart-wrenching rom-coms. Alexa, order tissues!.
Dial Pound 250 from your cell phone and say “Direct Energy” for free electricity every weekend.
Terms and conditions apply. See directenergy.com/WeekendsOnCommand for full details. PUCT Number 10040.
“Cool” (60): ISCI: DERTX618R103
BUZZ: “Wow, it sure feels nice and cool in here, man.”
LARRY: “Yeah, I like to keep the house comfy.”
BUZZ: “That’s going to run up your power bill.”
LARRY: “Alexa, ask Direct Energy ‘what is my weekly usage.’”
ALEXA: “Your usage for the week of July 23 was 242-kilowatt hours.”
BUZZ: “Cool – where did you get the Amazon Echo Dot?”
LARRY: “From Direct Energy. I called pound 250 from my cell phone and said ‘Direct Energy’ for a special offer.
BUZZ: “How special?
LARRY: Free Weekends. Over 100 Days of Free Power …
BUZZ: “Wow, Free Weekends!”
LARRY: “Yeah, 52 weekends a year of free electricity – and an Amazon Echo Dot.”
BUZZ: “Free electricity and an Echo Dot? That’s Cool!”
LARRY: “Cool and smart. I can control my lights, change the thermostat and check my energy usage.”
BUZZ: “So how do I sign up?”
LARRY: “Alexa, repeat The Offer.
ALEXA: Okay, reading The Offer. Dial Pound 250 and say Direct Energy for over 100 Days of Free Power.”
BUZZ: “Aw cool, Alexa.”
LARRY: “Dial Pound 250 and say Direct Energy.
LEGAL: Terms and conditions apply. See directenergy.com/WeekendsOnCommand for full details. PUCT Number 10040.
The campaign also employed digital media for Captivate and True View:
Campaign results exceeded expectations. The number of directly attributable calls increased 600 percent compared to the previous campaign. Call volume increased 300 percent year over year and we achieved a 26 percent increase among likely switchers.
The novel #250 call to action lets consumers dial #250 on their mobile and say “Direct Energy” to speak with a representative without having to dial or remember an eleven digit toll free number. This was used primarily on outdoor and radio, two mediums used while driving. #250 is a much safer and easier alternative. Thanks to #250, the internal marketing team was better able to track and define campaign performance and success.
The campaign was so successful it has continued throughout 2018 and competitors have followed suit with similar offer messaging.