Blog: Would you buy energy because of a cute new mascot?

It might have escaped your attention, but the PR machine of EDF Energy has gone into overdrive lately. Actually, it would be hard to miss, given the rollout of posters and […]

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By Vicky Ellis

It might have escaped your attention, but the PR machine of EDF Energy has gone into overdrive lately.

Actually, it would be hard to miss, given the rollout of posters and TV ads over the last few months all centred around an “adorable” little bobbing orange BLOB – dubbed Zingy – that looks a bit like a radioactive rubber duck without a beak.

The French supplier appears to be whipping its public perception into shape after coming last in a Consumer Focus customer complaints league twice in a row.

But you’d never suspect the British public of being so easily satisfied by such a blatant gimmick. Or would you?

Bizarrely, as soon as I started browsing through EDF Energy’s tweets (@edfenergy) I saw the supplier had retweeted the very same sentiment.

One tweeter actually wrote: “I’m easily pleased! I get excited about that edf energy ad with the cute little piece of ‘electricity’”.

Wow. That says it all for me.

Several teenage tweeters appear to have made their own version of the thing out of clay – there’s a few EDF customers in the bag, before they’ve even looked at a bill. Result. Slam dunk, PR team.

In fact, the new mascot has so successfully captured the public’s imagination, people have been contacting the supplier in their droves trying to get hold of a toy version of Zingy.

Except, they can’t. These desperate (and frankly, sad) people can’t get what they want yet because the supplier hasn’t got any figurines of the cute little critter.

Lucky for them, EDF now tells me they “have plans to share the character” with customers “in a number of ways” later this year. Naturally.

Compare and contrast, if you will, the hopeless state of the Olympics’ two bizarre cyborg mascots. Piles of the things sit in 2012 stores, unloved, conspicuously not bought (at least, so it seems to me) – like the pathetic extras not pretty enough to make the Toy Story cut.

Bet there’s a PR exec out there, somewhere, in the Big Smoke, wishing the fortunes of EDF Energy’s and Olympics’ mascots were reversed.