Appealing to our inner child

Date: 16/05/2014

Sustainability is a serious issue, right? Well yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it – in fact, many of our experiences over the years have shown that when we do, we’re more successful in achieving our professional objectives.

A case in point is our new ‘Exploring Energy’ visitors centre graphics & interactives installation for E.ON, officially opened last week at the Conkers ‘Discovery Centre’ near Derby. Generating enough energy to power the town, supplying the energy through a seamless infrastructure, efficiently managing demand and supply might be the fairly uninspiring, daunting challenges that our Governments and business leaders wrestle with, but we turned this on it’s head.  The experience we designed gives children an engaging experience on what is involved -  in short, we’ve sought to make learning fun.  

 

Since the moment it was unveiled, the new area was buzzing with activity  and the feedback from the client, users and a selection of wider stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive, so we thought we’d capture some thoughts on why we think it works so well.

Provide a ‘hook’
The children (and their parents and teachers) flock to the ‘fun’ stuff – the interactive you can run on, test your reactions with, where you can challenge your wits or classmates.

‘Drip feed’ the message
They read the instructions, which are peppered with educational nuggets.

REALLY engage them
As people throw their best efforts into the interactives, in front of their peers, they emotionally get fired up in the challenge, a chance to really strike a chord with them.

As their friends compete they look for additional stimulus – soaking up the wider ‘periphery’ information, including pulling out actionable information like what they can do to positively influence aspects of their lifestyle.

What do points make…?
As every dentist will know, rewarding with something as simple as a sticker can leave an overwhelmingly positive impact for children of a certain age. The little character we designed for E.ON appears here, with a dual purpose of also reminding the children about some of the things they would have learned on the day – such as the importance of energy saving. This in turn will begin to influence attitudes and behaviours.

So this is all well and good for kids – but what relevance does it have to those of us, like B2B marketers, for whom this is not our target audience? I would argue it is still entirely relevant. There’s two reasons for me saying this, the first is that you could see a fairly similar process happening with a lot of adults in the area. Secondly, this process shares commonalities with a host of communications we’ll undertake any given week, where a little ‘theatre’ is what can separate us for the many other messages and noise people receive hourly.

If you get the chance, we definitely recommend you pop in and take a look at the installation yourself. For more information about making sustainability communications fun and engaging, contact us today on 01525 292 005 or e-mail hello@think-sustainability.co.uk.

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