James Norton voices OVO's Alex Skills

James Norton voices OVO's Alex Skills

OVO Enlists the Voice of James Norton to Help Households Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

The energy firm's campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi aims to educate and encourage users of the greenest moments to use electricity

By Creative Salon

To educate consumers about their impact on the planet through their energy consumption, OVO has released a series of Alexa Skills voiced by Happy Valley actor James Norton featuring live data from The National Grid so they can shift their use times to when it is being powered by greener sources.

The new campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi and Goodstuff, allows consumers to ask their Alexa if it’s time for a Power Nap to find out how green the grid is and if it’s a good time to turn on their electric appliances at home. The Skill will also tell consumers whether there is a high, moderate, or low level of renewables being used to power the grid at that moment in time.

Built on the insight that navigating energy usage can be complex according to time of day, day of the week, and the weather, the campaign - initially conceptualised by Goodstuff - recognises that these complexities are major blockers in behaviour change. The campaign centres around a real platform that makes it easier to instil green energy habits by giving real-time, relevant advice in the home environment where consumers can quickly make use of the Skill.

The creative from Saatchi & Saatchi borrows from the tone and tropes of popular meditation apps, with the Skill custom-narrated by actor, producer and green energy advocate James Norton (of Happy Valley, Little Women and the critically-acclaimed 2023 stage adaptation of a Little Life). The Skill aims to provide a relaxing way for consumers to improve their energy literacy and knowledge from the comfort of their homes, while additional bespoke executions running across radio, social and Alexa display will also support the campaign. 

With new research also finding that 48% of UK consumers would make changes to their home energy usage if they can see how their personal behaviour impacts the planet, the work builds on previous Saatchi & Saatchi and Goodstuff campaigns - including The Energy Forecast and Power Move - which also used the live API data to help educate consumers on their energy usage, as part of OVO’s commitment to support consumers wherever they are on their green energy journey. 

Alice Tendler, director of brand and marketing at OVO says: "Our new Alexa Power Nap Skill campaign, voiced by James Norton, helps empower households to understand their energy usage and the greenest times to use electricity. This is one example of the action we’re taking every day to find new ways to help make it easier for our customers to lower their carbon footprint with simple solutions.”

Genevieve Tompkins, chief client experience officer at Goodstuff, adds: “The National Grid API is the tech enabler behind our vision for OVO; using media in a more climate-responsible manner, as well as providing messaging synergy for consumer behaviour-change benefit. And our OOH Power Move campaign in 2023 was just the start. By integrating our API with an Alexa Skill, we’ve made it easy for the British Public to take action, by being accessible in all Alexa smart-speaker homes, activated via digital audio. We are super proud of OVO going on this rewarding journey with us, which is testament to a truly great client-agency partnership and a client who is willing to invest in mission centric comms to deliver on their Zero Carbon Living ambition.”

Sarah Heavens, senior creative, Saatchi & Saatchi says: “Apparently Alexa has the answer to everything. So we decided to enlist their help in bringing to life the daily changes we can all make around the home that are better for the planet. This campaign is about using technology creatively to empower everyone to make more informed choices, wherever they are on their green energy journey. With some help from James Norton’s smooth voice of course.”

Campaign credits

Campaign Title: OVO Power Nap

Client: OVO

Advertising Agency:  Saatchi & Saatchi

CCO: Franki Godwin 

Executive creative director: Will John

Creative Director: Ali Dickinson

Copywriter: Sarah Heavens

Art director: Neil Ritchie

Designer: Scott Powell & Lucien Bishop

Planning director: Ophelia Stimpson

Planner: Bridget Moyle

Managing partner: Jonathan Tapper

Business lead: Sophie deGraft-Johnson

Account director: Maddie Williams

Senior account manager: Louisa Pudney

Agency producer:  Chris Thomas & Barney Ferguson

Media agency: Goodstuff

Chief client experience officer: Genevieve Tompkins

Chief strategy officer: Paul Gayfer 

Business director: Selena Matthews

Planning director: Shaun Loveridge

Head of creative media: Ketan Lad

Head of audio: Sam Austin 

Head of OOH: Roy Shepherd

Post production company: Factory

Post production producer: Beth Massey

Sound engineer: Mark Hills

Talent procurement: Beyond Talent


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