Bite size approach to Australia’s energy issues

Origin Energy have launched an advertising blitz aimed at educating the public about Australia’s energy industry by handing out lollies at train stations across the country.

The energy giant were at city train stations across Australia today, handing out ‘fantale’ style confectionary with information about Australia’s energy industry on the packaging.

“These Origin Energy Tales have been made to entertain you while giving you some knowledge about Australia’s energy industry,” the packet read.

“…we believe the more you information you have about energy, the more you can participate in this country’s energy conversation.”

The individual lolly wrappers feature stories and information about Australia’s energy industry.

“…up to 50% of your electricity bill goes to the operation, upgrade and expansion of our national grid to help ensure that it’s in shape to meet even our highest peak demand moments,” one said.

The lollies are part of a bigger campaign by Origin which is spread across most digital platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Origin Energy Tales are be supported by a social media campaign #knowledgeispower and a specific website which contains all 25 Origin Energy stories.

An Origin spokesperson told Australian Mining that it was hoped the campaign could help contribute to a more informed conversation about energy use in Australia.

Origin Executive General Manager Phil Craig said that while the energy industry has tried many different methods to help inform consumers about energy over the years, many of the methods are outdated and the sector has not kept up with the times.

 "Hundred-page reports, broad ranging websites, colourful bill messages and inserts, and beautifully filmed television commercials are not working. There is plenty of debate about energy, but the industry has not kept up with how people consume information. As a consequence, while our job is to keep the lights on, when it comes to information we’ve left our customers somewhat in the dark,” he said.

“These days people are time poor and want access to simple and engaging information at the time, and through the channels, they choose. So Origin is doing something different, and launching a major upgrade to how it communicates information via digital and social media channels.”

Craig said getting customers and the community to take notice and starting the energy conversation is critical.

“We turned to the creator of the short, entertaining fact – Fantales”, said Mr Craig. “We saw a huge opportunity to bring a modern twist to this time honoured Australian tradition, and we have launched 25 lolly-sized Origin Energy Tales featuring interesting and amusing stories and facts about energy,” Craig said.

The NSW Minerals Council have welcomed the campaign.

“We are pleased that Origin has taken this bold initiative and hope it drives a greater public appreciation of where our State’s electricity actually comes from,” CEO Stephen Galilee said.

“Origin’s campaign is an innovative approach to improving public education on energy and we hope it leads to an increased appreciation of the need for stable and affordable electricity in NSW.”

However, others have criticised the campaign for what they say is a glossing over of important issues.

Many claim the online blitz does not give a sense of the potential risks of CSG, and are critical of Origin’s approach.

One Twitter user said:

"Does it say what percentage of our @originenergy bill goes towards bribing Darren Lockyer to brainwash us that #CSG is safe?"

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