PLANNING CASEBOOK: British Gas' Generation Green campaign is a hit with schools

Challenge - British Gas wanted to convey the message that it is committed to creating an energy-efficient Britain for its 10 million-plus customers, many of whom don't realise that British Gas' carbon emissions are the lowest-per-household of any major UK energy supplier.

British Gas: Generation Game campaign for schools and communities
British Gas: Generation Game campaign for schools and communities

British Gas

Lead planner

Rachel McGrath, associate director

Carat needed compelling evidence that British Gas takes its environmental responsibilities seriously - it knew bragging about the company's green credentials or instructing consumers to be more energy-efficient wouldn't work. Instead, Carat decided to educate people and inspire a new generation of consumers to become energy-aware. This led to the creation of Generation Green: a schools and communities initiative of unprecedented scope and intent, targeting those who will be most affected by the environment: young people.

Carat created downloadable lesson plans for teachers, which helped primary and secondary school pupils reduce their school's carbon footprint. An incentive scheme rewarded schools for eco-progress, where Green Leaves points could be redeemed for desktop wind turbines, vegetable-growing kits and bikes.

The campaign involved a three-pronged communications programme. Firstly, British Gas reps conducted a tour of teacher conferences - backed up by PR, outdoor, online and press - and the first 20 schools to register received a solar panel.

Next, Carat created an ad-funded show for CITV called Green Up Your Life, which directed viewers to the branded website and was watched by more than 83,000 people. Finally, Carat ran TV and cinema ads, aimed at children and parents watching together.

More than 9,500 schools enrolled in the Generation Green programme, almost twice the target, representing 34% of all UK schools and more than three million children. More than four in five (85%) schools actively participated, collecting more than 21 million Green Leaves tokens to date. All TNS tracking measures improved, including the critical retention measure, which rose 11%.





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