The switch to sustainable energy solutions: using addressable media to talk to your tribe


Ecotricity is Britain’s first green energy company. Founded 25 years ago, Ecotricity kick-started the Global Green Energy Movement. A not-for-profit, B-Corp member, it now has 74 windmills and a solar park.

Ecotricity spends small amounts on advertising, and it has to pay back. Our objective was to prove that TV could effectively reach people who would respond to Ecotricity’s proposition and profitably acquire new customers.

The big idea

Meet William, a middle-aged, affluent professional who is highly educated and working in the service sector. His family are increasingly environmentally conscious. He knows Ecotricity. His comms channels for switching are digital. In fact, according to Ecotricity’s customer segmentation, William does everything except watch live TV.

Energy switching is a complex process. There’s disinformation and price comparison sites recommending unstable niche suppliers. Ecotricity’s ambitions are quite different; they’re not just selling energy, they’re campaigning for a better future. However, in a fiercely competitive market, awareness of Ecotricity is low. The goal is to make people aware of Ecotricity as a genuinely renewable energy supplier and prompt search.

TV is the best medium for creating awareness and changing attitudes. But because Ecotricity’s core audience didn’t watch much TV, our job was to find when and where William was watching.

We analysed their customer postcode data via CACI’s ACORN database, which allowed us to divide the population into 64 types by housing type. Two-thirds of Ecotricity’s customers fell into 5 ACORN types, allowing us to identify which households to target. Targeting a niche geo-demographic audience by postcode is possible using Sky’s AdSmart technology. Adsmart reaches c.40% of the available audience in any area. Additional channels with a direct call to action would increase response.

Making it happen

Analysis of Ecotricity’s records showed that we needed to focus on 5 ACORN types that matched the ‘William’ profile and their customer base.

The top performing postcode areas for these ACORN types were Kingston, Twickenham and Tunbridge Wells (KT, TN and TW), affluent commuter areas close to London. The test strategy was designed to deliver the same weight of TV to each postcode but test combinations of amplification channels.

The TV strategy reached AdSmart homes (c.40% of all homes) in the three postcode areas, targeting the 5 nominated ACORN profiles (just under 50,000 homes.) We had an equivalent control area with no exposure.

We needed sufficient presence to persuade the audience to consider changing supplier. It was heavyweight, with a frequency of 9 OTS across two months, reaching 90% of the ACORN types with Sky or Virgin Media.

Digital display: We used full screen / MPU on mobile phones and tablets, retargeting the ‘William’ ACORN type in KT and TW, buying just over 350,000 impressions.

Door drops: We analysed both postcode areas (TN and TW) and were able to target the postcode sectors within each with the highest concentration of core ACORN types (around 30,000 in total). We targeted the same number of households in each to measure the impact of door drops with other media.

We only used recycled paper and printed using sustainable soy ink. We encouraged recycling and asked people to pass on the leaflet. We offset the impact of the campaign via the World Land Trust.


We measured results via web attribution and sales. They were incredibly positive. 719% uplift in website visitors in targeted vs non-targeted households. In area performance by postcode, we saw more than double the performance in the TW area, where we ran the combination of all three media channels. 291% sales increase YoY in TW, where door drops and digital display supported the TV campaign. This was a 43% sales uplift compared to 2019 and halved acquisition costs.


The switch to sustainable energy solutions: using addressable media to talk to your tribe

Using smart audience and location data solutions and targeted media planning to identify reach and convert Ecotricity's core audience of 'Michael'.

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07779646722 [email protected]