Mighty River Power and Mercury Energy have been conflated into a single brand with a greater focus on renewable energy.
Now trading under the name Mercury, the updated brand comes complete with a new look.
In lieu of the Roman God Jupiter previously pasted across the brand livery, Mercury now has a simple black bee on a yellow background as its logo (the refresh was developed by design company Dick & Jane).
Mercury chief marketing officer Julia Jack says the decision to adopt the bee as the symbol of the brand is because it’s analogous to the brand’s purpose to provide Kiwis with access to renewable energy.
Bees play an integral role in sustaining the environment (as indicated by an alleged Albert Einstein quote on the Mercury website), and Jack says this provides a nice tie-in to Mercury’s overall purpose.
She adds that market research also suggested Kiwis had the strongest connection to the bee as the symbol.
Mercury’s research into its connection with Kiwis also played an important role in determining which of the two brands were retained, with Jack saying the Mercury brand was more widely recognised by New Zealanders.
“While Mighty River Power was also a strong brand in its own right in regions like the Waikato, Mercury Energy had a stronger connection with more Kiwis,” Jack says.
This statement certainly rings true when looking at the fact Mercury ranks as one of the most popular power company brands on Facebook, with over 38,000 likes (among local energy companies, only Energy Online has more likes).
Coinciding with the launch of the new brand is a campaign by FCB, which shows a young Kiwi surfer riding on a yellow e-bike over what appears to be quite some distance.
Jack says the focus on the e-bike is important because the team at Mercury sees them as an important step in the progression of New Zealand to electric transport.
She points out that while New Zealand is a global leader in renewable energy, with 80 percent of all energy coming from renewable sources (Mercury boasts 100 percent), our transport system remains reliant on oil and gas.
“We see e-bikes as playing a very important role in changing this,” she says.
The e-bike theme is carried over from the TVC to an online video, featuring Te Radar taking an adventure through the Waikato river trails.
Jack says rather than focusing on the utility side of things, Mercury’s comms is instead trying to draw attention to what energy enables Kiwis to do.
This is very similar to the approach increasingly employed by the nation’s telcos, with both Vodafone and Spark becoming more emotive in recent campaigns. When offering utility-based services, which can’t be greatly distinguished in price or product, brands need to look beyond the rational mind to win consumers’ loyalty.
Mercury’s rebrand also comes at a time when competition in the energy market has increased, with newcomers Flick and Electric Kiwi joining the fray.
Both organisations have been promoting their services loudly, and it seems to be working.
Flick chairman Marcel van den Assum recently told Stuffthat the company has added 3,877 customers in the first five months of 2016, increasing its customer base to 12,095.
Electric Kiwi has also kicked off well, quickly attracting over 3,000 customers, according to NBR.
Despite the very competitive Kiwi market, Mercury has been tracking well over the last few years and currently commands just under 400,000 customers.
Lead Agency: FCB
Creative: Tony Clewett (Executive Creative Director), Kelly Lovelock (Senior Art Director)
Audio: Liquid Studios
Strategy: David Thomason (Chief Strategist)
Account Service: Fleur Head (Managing Director), Jo Underdown (Group Account Director), Trina Miller (Account Director), Mal Kuper (Account Director), Hanna Henderson (Account Executive)
Production company: Finch – Jae Morrison (Director), Karen Bryson (Executive Producer)
Mercury clients: Julia Jack (CMO), Ben Harvey-Lovell (Head of Marketing), Donna Wester (Marketing Associate), Kellie Nathan (Marketing Consultant)
Brand strategy: Dick & Jane
Website Design: Catch
Collateral: Insight Creative