- Product/Brand - EDF Energy - Blue +Price Promise
- Spot - Come Home
- Song Title - Together We Are Beautiful
- Composer - Leray
- Publisher - Sony/ATV
- Artist - Fern Kinney
- Record Company - Warner
- Ad Agency - AMV BBDO
- Creative(s) - Andy Booth
- Film Company - Therapy Films
- Film Director - Roenberg
- Post Product - The Mill
- Air Date - May 8 2013
Hands up who thinks EDF Energy's Zingy mascot is a computer-generated cartoon character?
You’d be forgiven if you did. Virtually anything you see on screen nowadays, whether it be a pixel-perfect street scene from Ancient Rome or a real-live Bengal tiger, can be created in a server – and quite probably was.
But the endearing little creature which has been at the centre of the French energy company’s Blue +Price Promise campaign for the last 12 months is actually a good, old fashioned robot.
“Zingy was originated by an American roboticist specifically to aid studies with autistic children,” says AMV BBDO’s Andy Booth who has, to date, written and/or art directed four spots starring the orange figurine.
“We approached him with the idea and asked him to design a variant we could use in the campaign. And he still helps us out on each spot we shoot.”
So when you see Zingy riding on the back of a Bassett hound in the latest EDF execution ‘Come Home’, you’re not being sold a pup, so to speak. But if truth were known, Booth’s life might be a little easier if Zingy were a little less ‘real’.
“Because he is a robot we have to shoot him live,” Booth continues. “He has to dance in time to the beat of the track which means we have really have to decide on the song we want to use during the creative development phase.”
The EDF campaign first aired in April last year soundtracked by former Human League singer Phil Oakey’s 1984 Number 3 hit Together In Electric Dreams. An inevitably Olympics-themed film followed during the summer featuring Aha’s 1985 blockbuster Take On Me.
Earlier this year two further edits of the launch spot were aired with rather more tongue-in-cheek tracks (Shaggy’s reggae Mr Boombastic and an early 60s surfing rarity Jambo by saxophonist Claude McLin). These were designed as a response, Booth explains, to the many people on-line who were re-mixing and re-dubbing it with music of their own choice.
By comparison Fern Kinney’s disco-era ballad Together We Are Beautiful is rather more downbeat.
“The EDF Energy campaign is about 'feel better energy',” says Booth. “So we were looking for a track that evoked that but also felt appropriate in an ad portraying Zingy with his friend heading home.
“The lyrics were a good fit too, plus you get to the catchy chorus part of the song really quickly, which is always hugely important in a 30 sec ad.”
Although Together We Are Beautiful, which is published by Sony/ATV, topped the charts in the UK in 1980 on Warner Music’s old WEA label, Booth and the rest of the AMV BBDO team felt that it would be new to a lot of people who would therefore associate it closely with the EDF Energy campaign.
“There’s always the danger of falling victim to ‘borrowed interest’ if you use bigger, more famous tracks. That’s something we’ve tried to avoid in this campaign,” Booth adds.
Previous Zingy films were directed by Nick Gordon through Somesuch but as his wife was expecting a baby the week of shooting, AMV BBDO managed to get the Norwegian directors Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg (pka Roenberg), who just missed out on an Oscar for their feature movie Kontiki, to shoot the ‘Come Home’ spot in his place.
“That was a bit of a coup,” says Booth.
A 30 second version of ‘Come Home’ premiered on April 8 and high profile targeted launch spots were secured around ITV 1’s detective drama Broadchurch and Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA on Channel 4, as well as the eagerly anticipated Manchester derby on Sky Sports.
Commending the AMV BBDO films, Cameron Hughes, Head of Brand, EDF Energy says: “Our brand mascot Zingy has proved incredibly popular with UK consumers, bringing to life our Feel Better Energy proposition and positioning EDF Energy as behaving differently within the energy sector.”
Since the Feel Better Energy campaign broke Hughes claims that one million energy accounts have switched to the Blue tariff.
That’s the Zingy effect for you.