When given the chance to launch Energy Online in the Auckland market, we realised the brand needed something quite different to create a buzz for the energy retailer. UFO sightings and reports of weird lights over Auckland this weekend were the result. The stunt was the start of a drive by the energy retailer to highlight that cheaper energy has finally landed in Auckland.

After photos, videos and articles covering the UFO sightings went viral on social media over the weekend, the campaign revealed itself on Tuesday. ‘Energy circles’ dotted around on pavements throughout Auckland entice consumers to sign up via cheaperenergy.co.nz and enter a draw to win a share of $30,000 worth of free power. The campaign follows through with outdoor and ambient media, including adshels, bus backs and a full wrapped bus, traditional and direct media in the form of press inserts, radio and letterbox drops, along with intense digital media, including social media for the first time for this brand in the weeks to come to drive take-up and sales.

In true science of persuasion fashion, the back-end is highly sophisticated, while appearing deceptively simple, in line with the Brilliantly Simple positioning of the Energy Online brand. The microsite for the competition covers off multiple customer journeys and follow through includes a series of conversion and non-responder eDMs as well as digital re-targeting.

Twenty worked with production company Zoomslide to create the UFO, which was actually an octocopter drone modified to look just like a UFO when flying at night. In testing for months, the octocopter’s shell was made by a Raglan company with pieces imported from around the world including hundreds of LED lights arranged in three rings to give the UFO effect. It was flown by a commercial pilot who has been flying similar systems, although not quite as elaborate, for many years. In a confirmed ‘first’ by the Civil Aviation Authority, approval for the activity was given and emergency and civilian agencies were alerted.

Carren Richardson-Park, Group Account Director at Twenty highlighted the scale of the challenge. “Energy Online is a challenger brand, with a small budget and aggressive targets. We were lucky enough to have a client that recognised they needed to be brave. As a result we were able to convince Energy Online to take a huge leap of faith to cut through the highly competitive low engagement market that is the energy sector.”

Jason Christini-Crawford, Business Manager of Energy Online says, “We know that Aucklanders are particularly savvy about energy prices and will cheerfully switch power companies to reduce their monthly bills.

“Our modelling shows that electricity customers in Auckland could save on average up to $218 a year by switching to us. The good news for Aucklanders is that while Energy Online is a no frills business we don’t economise on our award-winning service. In fact, we’ve been voted best electricity provider for two years running in the prestigious Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards.”