Fighting air pollution is a critical cause. It kills one in twenty people in the UK, and has far-reaching impact on the health of many more. Yet because it’s largely invisible, it’s also been largely neglected. As part of the wider environmental debate, clean air doesn’t get the airtime it deserves.
Energy production and energy usage up to now has been a major source of pollution. But by 2019 energy company E.ON had invested hugely in transforming its business away from polluting fossil fuels.
With a lack of distinctiveness in the industry, talking the expected language of emissions and climate change risked being blanked by consumers. Instead E.ON and their agency ENGINE decided to take on the hitherto neglected issue of air quality.
With the rallying cry “Let’s clear the air” the campaign encompassed PR; events; press, digital and cinema advertising; influencer communications and interactive digital out of home. Creatively it ranged from a printed white paper that itself absorbed pollution, to a 5m high pair of transparent lungs that darkened in real time throughout a day as London’s air quality deteriorated, to a film world where the individual particles of pollution became shockingly visible.
The campaign inspired extensive media coverage and brought the cause of air quality to life for tens of millions, radically enhanced E.ON’s image and produced real worthwhile gains – for E.ON as a business and for all, by helping to make the next breath we make cleaner than the last.