New(ish) kid on the block, Flick Electric, has launched a quirky new campaign highlighting its point of difference from other power companies, which features a few familiar faces.
The power company appeared on the scene in August 2014 and has made an effort to distinguish itself from other power companies, marketing to a younger market with a mostly digital presence. Flick now has just over 7,000 customers.
What Flick pushes is how it sells its electricity at wholesale prices, offering its customers access to the fluctuating spot market, rather than marking up the price. This allows customers to monitor these peaks and troughs in the market online or through a mobile app, according to its website. So, basically, when electricity is cheaper, punters know that’s the best time to switch on the dehumidifier.
In the eccentric ad, three housemates (played by comedian and Funny Girl Laura Daniel, drag performer Amanda la’Whore and Wellington actor Abby Damen) make the most of their Flick electricity plan by using household appliances when the electricity cost is low.
The ad was conceptualised by Double Denim and produced by Bevin Linkhorn.
“We are very different to all the power companies because we offer our customers access to the spot market which hasn’t been done before. And we are very digital focused in terms of technology so our customers have an application they can go into and … they can make decision as to whether they put on the dishwasher,” Flick marketing and communications manager Nicola Cloherty says.
Cloherty says it is difficult as a new company to get people to make the switch. “There’s only about 20 percent of people that actively shift or make the decision to look elsewhere for power and it can be quite difficult.”
Flick’s job is to educate people, she says. “We are about being educational and informing people of what we offer. We talk about what our model is and it’s really transparent and honest.”
For example, in winter people consume more but it doesn’t mean the cost of electricity is higher, she says. "We saw a lot of people switching from coming up against these hefty bills from other power providers. Lucky for us our customers will then talk about how good the savings were and our community does a good job talking about the benefits of being with Flick and in turn people hear about it through word-of-mouth. And we don’t have any contracts as well, so if it’s not for everybody they are free to go.”
Flick isn’t just educating folks about electricity either. Though it wasn’t an initial goal of the company, it’s been looking at the idea of positive body imagery in its advertising
“Because we wanted to have something that was really shareable and engaging to women between the age of early twenties to 35 that they could really relate to,” she says. “Also, there’s so much out there that is targeted towards men. And we thought ‘What about the women?’ and women need to be spoken to at a real level as well.”
Women feel like they are misunderstood by marketers in a way that doesn’t relate to their everyday lives, she says. “Advertising and marketing campaigns don’t really hit high with their humour. So we thought, let’s go against the norm and create something that is shareable and that we can laugh at.”
Flick beats a similar drum to Powershop, which uses the mantra ‘Giving power back to the people’. The two companies both use more derivative advertising methods compared to some of the larger power companies out there.
In recent times, there has been an increasing number of smaller electricity companies popping up to disrupt the energy sector, giving us more options on how to consume our electricity rather than choosing between the two big powers (excuse the pun).
Electric Kiwi launched in May and offers "naked electricity", a business model structured around online tech innovation. All interaction with the company is online, which the company argues means less bums on seats and therefore more savings for the consumer. It also offers an 'Hour of Power' - a free hour of off-peak electricity each day.
Utilise launched its business retail offering early last year and like Flick and Electric Kiwi it is able to offer the service it does because of the roll-out of smart meters - power boxes which take accurate power usage readings and transmit that information in real time to the power company.
Powershop is also more transparent with the consumer, with pricing that adjusts seasonally reflecting the wholesale rates that the company pays to the electricity generators.
As of November 2015, the Electricity Authority reported Genesis Energy is still dominating the electricity market, at 530,729 ICPs (Installation Connection Points), followed by Contact (430,018 ICPs), Mighty River Power (390,859 ICPs), Meridian (279,599) and Trustpower (257,236 ICPs).
Concept and production:
Concept and scripting by Double Denim (Anna Dean, Angela Meyer)
Directed by Loren Taylor (formerly Horsley)
Produced by Bevin Linkhorn
Soundtrack by James Milne of Lawrence Arabia
Special Ad Service and Scratch Design, supporting graphics and campaign work, with photography by Mark Tantrum.