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22 . 08 . 17

Print plus online is the ‘smart’ solution for tech

Words by: Print Power
Spreading the word about smart meters called for a fresh approach integrating print media and digital

The power of print at a glance

  • 18% increase in cost effective
  • 44% increase in established perception
  • 28% increase in trustworthy perception
  • Had delivered a campaign reach of 13.4m
  • Understanding of what smart meters are and the benefits they provide increased by 24%
  • Propensity to have a smart meter installed had increased by 35% among TMS readers

Smart Energy GB works on behalf of the government and the energy industry to oversee the rollout of smart meters into households across the country by 2020. In 2015 they set out on their journey to educate the nation on energy usage and raise awareness of the benefits of smart meters – that they make energy usage more visible and controllable, empowering people to save money on their bills. And they’re free. Targeting all UK households, Trinity Mirror collaborated with the Telegraph Media Group to cover a broad cross-section comprehensively.

Energy utilities are among the choices people are most apathetic about.  Even though deregulation has created a ‘market’ for switching between providers and tariffs, most people don’t bother. And utility bills are obscure – often calculated on a usage estimate, rather than the actual amount. However, Trinity Mirror know that ‘Modal Britain’ (a section of society they've identified as the expanding middle society, defined by household income not demographics) are always looking for ways to improve their lives and welcome advice on getting the best energy tariff possible and therefore better deal on household bills. 

Trinity Mirror Solutions and the Telegraph’s 10-month content partnership delivered a consistent strategy of ‘Knowledge is Power’, equipping the audiences with the power to take control of their energy bills. Using 17 of Trinity Mirror's national and regional titles across print and digital, the publishers were uniquely able to match the geography of the regionally-phased smart meter rollout across the UK, focusing on three-key communication strands.

Awareness – the absurdity of estimating energy bills

A column series estimating the results of key sporting events, TV and popular culture as well as a tongue-in-cheek video estimating the results of the football transfer window.

Re-appraise – demonstrating the ease of adoption

Nostalgia-led DPSs identified key technologies that Britain embraced over the past 100 years to show how new developments become a part of an everyday enhanced life, plus early-adopter columns demonstrating the real-life benefits of smart meters.

Educate – exploring the range of benefits 

Editor’s Letter demonstrating editorial support and an infographic editorial spread illustrating the benefits of smart meters to readers. To complement the digital analytics of reader interaction online, Trinity Mirror conducted surveys of their audience panel (Mouthpiece) to understand print readers’ experiences of the campaign – working collaboratively with the client and media agency to create and refine the content.