First Utility launches major new advertising campaign and brand proposition to highlight huge savings possible by switching energy provider

Big Six challenger launches new brand campaign to grow awareness and maintain growth as households continue to leave established energy providers

by Michela Galante , AdForum

First Utility, the UK’s largest alternative to the Big Six energy firms, today announced the launch of a new brand campaign aimed at highlighting the huge savings available by switching energy provider.  Running across TV, Outdoor, Press, Social and Digital, the campaign sees First Utility launch a mock energy company - HD Electricity, which captures the amazing power of unicorn horns - to hammer home the message that all electricity does the same so people shouldn’t pay more.

The ad sees unicorns running through the streets and use the power from their horns to make street lights glow whiter, TV’s shine brighter and food cook quicker.

The campaign creative was developed by VCCP and builds on brand evolution work carried out by We Are Spectacular. It will launch First Utility’s new brand position - Knowledge is Power - which reinforces the company’s goal to actively engage and empower customers, in contrast to the incumbent providers. By providing insights and knowledge about energy consumption, First Utility is helping customers make more informed decisions about their use and spend.

The initial creative will highlight the huge savings possible by switching supplier. Customers switching to First Utility save an average of £284 a year, yet 70% of the UK households are on the most expensive tariff from the Big Six and paying significantly over the odds.

Market growth

First Utility is the largest of the independent energy providers who are collectively eroding the market share of the Big Six suppliers. Latest market figures show that independent suppliers account for almost 15% of the market today - with 200,000 customers joining First Utility in the last year making it the largest challenger on 4% market share.[1] 

Paul Cable, Head of Marketing, First Utility said: “From a low awareness base we’ve grown significantly over the last few years and helped hundreds of thousands of customers save hundreds of pounds a year. The frustration for us is that there are still many millions of households who are paying over the odds and have been so disengaged by their existing supplier that they’re unaware of the savings available.  This campaign is designed to shine a light on this unfairness and make more people realise that all gas and electricity does the same so they shouldn’t pay more.”

“This is the first creative to highlight our new brand positioning. Throughout the year we’ll be expanding our brand narrative to explain how we’re giving customers the insights and tools to put them in control. The Big Six have kept customers in the dark and, in the words of the Competitive Markets Authority, have exploited them for too long. We want to put them in control and help them use less energy so they pay even less.”

Julian Douglas, Vice Chairman of VCCP said: “Energy sector advertising is generally dull and / or exploitative, lulling customers to sleep so they sit on the wrong tariff for years. First Utility is here to disrupt the category, empowering customers to understand what they really need and should be spending on energy. And what better way to do this than by harnessing the power of the unicorn horn.”

View the ad here:


For more information contact Hope Abel, Group Marketing Manager at VCCP, on or on 07525 900 204.

About VCCP
VCCP is an international integrated communications agency, founded in 2002 on the principles of simplicity, collaboration, un-preciousness and integration around ideas rather than channels.

With offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Prague and Sydney, VCCP produces award-winning work for clients including O2,, easyJet, ING Direct and BMW Motorrad.


About First Utility

( First Utility is the UK’s fastest growing and largest independent energy supplier. It currently supplies gas and electricity to more than 850,000 customers (September 2015) throughout the UK and is committed to helping them reduce their energy bills by offering cheaper tariffs, helping customers use less energy through the use of innovative technology and campaigning for industry change. First Utility also donates 1% of its profits each year to the First Utility Foundation, an independent charitable organisation with a goal to improve the lives of vulnerable families and individuals across the UK

[1] Source: Cornwall Energy quarterly report showing figures as of 31 October 2015 relating to the Dual Fuel domestic market. 

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