Energy chief launches ‘public service announcement’ for all households

Simon Day's Dave Angel at home

FROM Monday 4th April, a new national advertising campaign will appear on television screens across Great Britain to help every household cut their energy costs by as much as £332 – cutting the average energy bill by nearly a fifth. The campaign has been launched after Utilita’s own research of 5,000 households revealed that any Government advice on cutting energy usage has failed to reach most households (84%).

With energy price rises hitting all households from 1st April, Utilita Energy has enlisted the support of The Fast Show’s iconic Dave Angel to show Britain’s households how to ‘Save Like Dave’. Eco Dave’s advice will direct viewers to five free and simple ways to cut home energy waste and save as much as £332 a year – a 17% saving, on the average household bill.

The month-long campaign expects to achieve 170 million impacts between 4th April – 1st May 2022 via TV, online and outdoor spaces. 

Bill Bullen, Founder and CEO of Utilita, shared his impetus for the ‘public service announcement’ campaign: 

“We are facing a very serious problem in the UK. Fuel poverty is set to take hold of millions more households across Great Britain this coming winter, so we have a small window of opportunity to help households to get into the habit of making simple and free changes now, before the cold weather kicks in. If households do this, they will save hundreds of pounds. 

“Last winter we helped approximately 2,000 customers each day with financial assistance – we expect this could double by next winter. Energy can and will go further with some sensible behaviour change at home, and if the Government isn’t telling people how to save, we will.”

Jem Maidment, Utilita’s Chief Marketing Officer, also commented on the campaign launch: 

“Last winter we piloted the ‘Save Like Dave’ campaign and it was received extremely well, with 21% of people saying they remembered the advert, which is more than double the industry average. 

“The fuel poverty that millions more households will face this winter would be far better avoided through improved, targeted Government support, but whilst the Treasury is trying to work that bit out, we’ve created an ad campaign that will help every household to use and pay for less energy.”

Dave Angel, Eco Warrior, has also explained his reasons for getting behind the energy-saving public service announcement campaign: 

“I said it many years ago, ‘The world’s still turning, but we’re not learning’ and, quite frankly, I’m gutted that here we are – 25 years later! – and still bleating on about changes we need to make.

“So, I’m talking to you brothers and sisters – and I’m asking YOU to make a change. If you’re still wasting energy around the house, remember, the cheapest, greenest energy is the energy we don’t use.

“I’m talking about looking after your pocket and this beautiful planet we call home. Follow this energy-saving, ’coz it’s a damned good place to start!”

Campaign rollout

The month-long campaign aims to reach every household across Great Britain, via TV, online and outdoor activity, as well as Utilita’s partner football clubs and entertainment arenas. 

The Save Like Dave campaign will be featured on buses in city centres and residential areas across Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southampton and Edinburgh from 25th April 2022 for four weeks. 

Utilita turned to comedy specialists Mister Tibbs to produce the campaign. Mister Tibbs have built their reputation delivering commercials and content to household brands like Comic Relief, Virgin Trains, Mitsubishi, Cadbury, The Guardian, and The National Lottery, and flagship broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and Comedy Central.

Mister Tibbs’ Founder Sami Abusamra stepped up to direct the commercial as well as a handful of social pieces. He commented: 

“When we were first approached about this project, I don’t think we could’ve said yes any quicker. I grew up watching The Fast Show, so to direct Simon Day – playing Dave Angel – was once-in-a-lifetime stuff. We can’t thank Utilita enough for bringing the project our way and can’t wait for the nation to start saving.”

Star of ITV drama The Royal ‘Amy Robbins plays Dave’s not-so-energy-efficient wife, Shirley, in the advert. All clips can be viewed here:

Find out more

Dave’s energy saving tips are based on Utilita hugely successful, award-winning #EnergyHigh5 campaign Since launching in January 2020, the campaign has reached an estimated 4m UK households and was recognised this week as the UK’s best sustainability marketing campaign by the prestigious Edie Sustainable Leaders Awards. 

Utilita enlisted the services of AMS Media Group to help plan the campaign and its media buying strategy. 

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