Ovo Energy Case Study

Ovo Energy Case Study - January 2014

Ovo Energy were looking to develop their first television campaign with their creative agency Fabula and needed help from the Copy Development service to avoid breaching the denigration rule.

The Concept
Ideas for the campaign were presented but they were problematic because they denigrated the competition. Ovo wanted to compare themselves to their bigger and more established rivals but the early scripts discredited those rivals by suggesting they provide a poor service in comparison to Ovo. We explained that it would be important for references to rival companies to be unspecific and vague, and that the good things that Ovo do should be stressed as opposed to what they consider to be their rival’s deficiencies.

Reviewing new creative
Over the weeks that followed the meeting, Fabula produced a number of creative routes which they sent to Seb Lynch, the Copy Development Manager, for feedback and advice. The advice centred on helping Fabula to amend any routes that were likely to be a problem under the denigration rule.

Final tweaks
Before the final meeting with Fabula, Seb discussed the latest creative route at the Policy and Copy Meeting (PCM) to get a consensus view from the copy group managers. The creative involved a customer and a rep from his unidentified energy company discussing the problems in their relationship with a councillor. The customer says he’s not happy and wants to switch to a new energy provider with great customer service – Ovo. PCM agreed that this route would be acceptable because the story had changed from being critical of competitors to being positive about Ovo.

Approved scripts
The final approved scripts explained a key benefit of being an Ovo customer and avoided any specific criticism of competitors. A sense of general dissatisfaction from the customer was clear and the character representing the energy company is unthoughtful and ignorant, but making the criticism vague and the energy company character generic and unidentifiable was key to the scripts’ acceptability.

The shoot
Fabula arranged for Seb to be present on the shoot as they were concerned that even though the scripts were ok on paper, there was the potential for the performances and any adlibbing to jeopardise the approval of the ads. Given the work involved in developing compliant scripts and the number of watch-outs given by Clearcast for the shoot, the agency felt it made sense to have Seb on set as a safeguard.

The Testimonial
This was our first use of the Copy Development service at Clearcast and it was invaluable. By having a qualified Clearcast rep to explain the regulations and highlight what breached them meant that much of the debate was fast-tracked and we could focus on creative solutions. Often the regulations can be open to personal interpretation which can slow down the copy approval process, Seb was really good at clarifying, without obstructing in anyway. He felt like a member of the team both at meetings and on set (he used to be a 2nd AD so really fitted in). The whole service definitely helped us get to strong solutions within a challenging time frame.

Alex Hedges - Producer at Fabula


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