Campaign of the Week

17 October 2023

Energy company invites sceptics to experience life with wind turbines 

Danish energy company Andel challenges wind energy sceptics by inviting them to spend two nights in homes located next to turbines

According to a Norstat analysis for Danish energy and fibre-optic network company Andel, 85% of people who are against wind turbines in their local area believe that they can cause noise nuisance.

In September 2023, the energy company invited Danes to spend a few nights in homes located next to wind turbines to debunk such prejudices.

Windy Retreats was created with agency Robert/Boisen & Like-minded, Copenhagen, and features a 90-second film that captures real people’s experiences living next to wind turbines. The film features interviews with Lars and Lotte in South Zealand, Joachim in West Jutland, Jonas from Greater Copenhagen, and Ole from Lolland, who all say that, despite having had previous doubts, they do not see the wind turbines as an inconvenience to their lives.

As part of the initiative, the interviewees are making their homes available during the autumn break (end of October), and people can spend two nights living next to wind turbines for free. There is a limited number of spots, and in case of overbooking, Andel will be drawing lots for stays in the homes.

The campaign film is being promoted on local TV channels, out-of-home billboards and across social media. The brand has also compiled a list on its website of rental properties from all over the country that are situated close to wind turbines for people to choose from, should they miss out on securing a Windy Retreat.

Contagious Insight 

Getting past obstacles / Windy Retreats is a smart way for Andel to bust any myths around wind turbines so that it can continue to deliver on its commitments towards a greener future. Given the Dane’s belief that wind turbines make noise, it makes perfect sense to use actual people to speak to the realities of wind power, and encourage others see for themselves, to dispel such myths.

Andel has committed to investing DKK90bn ($12.6bn) until 2035 towards projects that promote renewable energy such as developments in wind and solar energy and charging infrastructure. In September 2023, Andel and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on two proposals for offshore wind farms. However, to continue its investments in renewable energy and rapidly support Denmark’s target of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, Andel needs people on its side so that opposed residents won’t delay or stop its wind turbines being built – what better way to get them on their side by having actual locals speak about their experience of wind power.

See for yourself / Andel doesn’t merely tell people wind turbines don’t make much noise, it shows them too. Andel’s senior vice president, Rikke Trikker, said in a statement, ‘We want to create dialogue and debate, and we hope that our campaign can help dispel some of the myths we regularly encounter. It’s not enough to just convey facts. If we want to change attitudes, we need to provide personal experiences and concrete opportunities to go out and try it for yourself.’ Using holidays as a way to showcase its point is a surprising, creative and PR-able idea. Even if people don’t take up Andel on its offer, the confidence of the campaign and the authenticity of the real people fronting the ads, help deliver the message that wind energy isn’t as noisy as people fear. The energy brand also extends the idea beyond the promotional Windy Retreats by highlighting an array of other locations situated near wind turbines, should anyone care to test the company’s word.

European energy company Iberdrola faced a similar challenge in France, when the brand faced low market awareness in France after expanding to the country in 2019. In 2022, the brand turned subway turnstiles into wind turbines to showcase its commitment to renewable energy and emphasise its presence. Both energy brands invite locals to engage with wind turbines with ‘see for yourself’ campaigns to help people understand more about them, whether that’s how they function or what it’s like to live near one. 

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