Is anybody else struggling with the logic of the two current TV ads from e-on/powergen? They are actually two really interesting commercials; the first for e-on shows a typical British seaside town as the wind gets up with items blowing down the street, girls hanging on to their flapping dresses and people leaning against the strong breeze or being lifted into the air by it. There’s a quirky and catchy Rock Island Line type backing track. The message is all about the development of offshore windfarms by e-on and makes the point that this is what change looks like. Solid green credentials being established by a power company but it is the e-on brand which comes over loud and clear.
The second ad goes further to establish the company’s green ambitions by showing a shower of sycamore seeds floating serenely down upon a housing development, again using a nice quirky backing track, and inviting power users to switch to their ‘go greener’ offering. However the offer this time is presented by Powergen. There is a little unspoken strapline saying that they’re part of the e-on company or something but it’s not really an ad focused on a brand change message. I think they’re trying to convey two messages in each ad which is always tricky as they just seem unsure as to which brand to promote. To be honest I can see the dilemna; Powergen is a strong descriptor brand name whereas e-on is just odd. Brand change is best done a la HSBC who just did it cleanly and clearly. Overnight the Midland Bank name change just disappeared it seemed. Abbey and Santander are going through a similarly tortuous route at present (and their 30 sec ads contain at least 3 messages a) we back the Mclaren F1 team b)we are a big bank with lots of branches c) oh we’re changing our name too. Perhaps there’s an implicit fourth – we haven’t the confidence to call an end to the name Abbey. Anyway back to e-on/powergen: nice ads but indecisive branding, 7 out of 10. Seen any ads that make you smile or cry?