Outlier

Clever campaign in Denmark: if you save energy, you get free pizza

  • By Barry Fischer
  • December 13, 2012

A recent public energy-savings campaign in Denmark leveraged a powerful incentive that, across nations and cultures, always seems to produce impressive results. The incentive: free pizza.

The campaign, commissioned by the Danish energy company Vestforbraending (in collaboration with the creative marketing firm Anew), involved opening a new pizzeria called “Vest Pizza” in the northwestern suburbs of Copenhagen. The restaurant’s sole purpose was to reward the community’s aggregate energy savings.

In preparation for the cold season, Vestforbraending sent out 8 winter-time heating conservation tips to their customers, then subsequently measured the total reduction in winter heating load. The more heating energy saved by the community, the more pizzas the restaurant would heat up and give away.  On the opening night of the restaurant, neighbors earned 163 free pizzas – an amount proportional to the community’s energy savings during the first phase of the campaign.

Creative Sandbox; Vest Pizza (November 2012)

Although the experiment mainly confirms that offering free pizza is a surefire strategy to achieve any goal, it also highlights a few approaches that may be helpful in designing other energy conservation campaigns: empower people with specific seasonal advice, tap into the power of community, and frame the benefits in a tangible way.

Check out the video below to see the Vest Pizza campaign in action.

 

About Outlier

Outlier explores trends in how people are using energy at home. Pulling from an unprecedented (and still growing) amount of energy data—currently drawn from 50 million homes—Opower crunches energy-use information from more than 75 utility partners every day, and cross-references that with weather, household, and demographic information to produce compelling analyses in the Outlier series.