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Switch Off to Save, says the Department of Electricity

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | September 16, 2008
The Department of Electricity creates an interactive outdoor campaign to reach out to the masses, encouraging them to save electricity

The outdoor & #BANNER1 & # campaign of the Department of Electricity in New Delhi has used interactivity in an interesting manner to convey the message of saving electricity.

The department's aim was to spread awareness about the current energy crisis. The brief to its agency, Pickle Advertising, was to create an outdoor campaign that would appeal to the masses. The idea was to promote the saving of electricity, which could then be used for a meaningful purpose when required.

OOH major JCDecaux created a controlled lighting environment on bus Q shelters (BQSes) with a reactive on/off switch to connect with the passers by and give out the message. The backlit panoramic panel of the bus shelter was partially lit and displayed the message, "The power you waste may be all that someone needs."

Click on the images to enlargeAn electronic switch installed near it was suspended over the multi-photon ionisation (MUPI) panel situated next to the bus shelter. The MUPI carried the message, Turn Off This Switch, Switch Off, Make It a Habit, with the button switched on, urging the audience to switch it off.

The moment someone turned off the switch, the electricity supply to the MUPI panel was turned off and the non-lit portion of the shelter lit up fully. Then, you could see the snapshot of a surgery taking place.

Koustuv Chatterjee, creative director, Pickle Advertising, tells afaqs! that the message to save electricity will remain the same for all the shelters, though the displays may vary. Other creatives such as a group of children studying under lamps may be displayed.

He says, "A different approach is needed to spread a public awareness message. The message should be experiential for the viewers and not just something that offers a feel good factor."

The campaign will appear on six BQSes with 18 panels for a time period of two months. The display cost for each BQS is Rs 1.5 lakh. The innovation has been done on two bus shelters one at Patiala House and the other at Yusuf Sarai Market. Four more bus shelters at Gole Market, South Avenue, Africa Avenue and Shanti Path with also see carry the campaign but minus the innovation. Most of these locations see high pedestrian traffic due to the government offices in the vicinity.

Normally, passers by do not spend more than a few seconds gazing at advertisement displays, but such a setup demands initiative from the viewer to put off the switch. Are the passers by willing to make that extra effort here? Chatterjee laughs, "In fact, people are doing it a little too often and we've had to place people nearby to monitor the switch."

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