How Octopus Energy used art to get people to switch to green energy in 2021

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy used art to inspire people to take action on climate change, bringing in an additional 37,000 new customers.

In an effort to make clean water between itself and its competitors, Octopus Energy used the power of art to raise awareness about climate change. The “Portraits from the Cliff” campaign launched in November 2019 to encourage more consumers to switch to green energy bills.

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The campaign launch was timed to coincide with a meeting of world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference. Octopus worked with artists from around the world to create striking images about climate change and launched them as digital off-stage (DOOH) displays at 5,000 sites. The event became the world’s largest DOOH art exhibition.

Octopus marketing has traditionally focused on the three main reasons customers switch to the brand: customer service, fair and transparent pricing and 100% renewable energy. But the company found an opportunity to go further with a campaign to raise public awareness of climate issues on a broader scale.

The campaign was designed to inspire everyone to take action on climate change, as well as strengthen the brand’s reputation and increase its customer base.

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Artists from around the world created works that answered the question, “What does climate change mean to you?” Working with Artfinder and DOOH partner JCDecaux provided support in sourcing artwork and developing the presentation, and the Royal Society of Arts/Royal Academy awarded the first annual Climate Change Art Prize (£10,000 cash) to the winning image.

The campaign achieved exceptional results compared to its goals. Octopus increased its subscribers by 163%, gaining an additional 37,000 new customers compared to the same period the previous year, earning it the Marketing Week Masters 2020 utility award.

The judges praised Octopus for its boldness in switching its entire budget from rational engagement advertising to brand building. They said, “These early results show it was an investment worth making.”

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