Magazine article Marketing


Magazine article Marketing


Article excerpt

The government report into the potential health dangers of mobile telephony, published in early May, failed to dent the industry's dominance of the month's Radiowatch league, with Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone and Orange all appearing at the top of the table.

While Blockbuster moves up two places to number three, Powergen takes fifth place, with National Power -- spending [pounds]20m through TBWA on a year-long multimedia campaign -- at joint number 11.

The message from both energy advertisers is that consumers now have a choice of energy suppliers. Both campaigns also take a humorous approach, although some consumers have failed to see the National Power joke.

In its first week, a National Power poster generated 118 complaints from redheads insulted by the image of a ginger-haired family accompanied by the line 'There are some things in life you can't choose'. The radio work extends the joke by mocking people with silly names -- although it remains to be seen whether these poor souls prove as sensitive as the Chris Evans brigade.

TBWA's TV work, however, seems very different, focusing on the fact that people have bigger things to worry about than energy suppliers. This confusing twin message might explain why Powergen, although dwarfed by National Power's mega-budget, scores a higher recall percentage. Powergen -- best known for its sponsorship of ITV's weather forecasts -- was formed out of the former East Midlands Electricity 18 months ago and began advertising last autumn with a spirited attack on British Gas. The campaign is now in phase two, characterised by a lighter style and a warmer feel.

The work, which includes direct mail, is through Miller Bainbridge and uses radio as its main brand-building medium. Marketing director John Evans said: "We don't have a huge budget, so we have to be innovative -- and radio gives us a cost-effective media platform. Historically, Powergen is a masculine brand but now we are more of a retail business, we need to add more female attributes."

The approach -- a male voiceover posing a problem with a female voice (belonging to the daughter of cricketer Clive Lloyd) providing the solution--is clearly working; the Radiowatch data reveals a 34% recall level among women, almost double that of National Power. And, apparently, some 30,000 new customers are signing up with Powergen each week.

The rest of the table is the usual Radiowatch potpourri, but don't be surprised if you were reduced to tears by the copy in Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's heart-rending RSPCA radio ad--joint number 17. …

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