Challenge: When Cadmus began supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Program in 2000, our challenge was to raise awareness of the label beyond its current recognition level of 40 percent among U.S. consumers to make it a nationally- recognized brand that would transform the energy-efficiency market.
Strategy: The Cadmus team developed a national integrated social marketing campaign with the goal of making energy- efficient behavior the social norm, much as recycling is today. We produced public service announcements and retail-focused outreach to increase overall awareness, while promoting behavior change; reaching consumers through their trusted sources and those who influence them. We implemented this outreach by providing messaging and campaign materials to EPA’s extensive network of retail, utility and nonprofit partners, who went on to spread the word through their own extensive communications channels. The key principles supporting the campaign were to encourage consumers to make a pledge to make energy- efficient choices, and ask consumers to change their five most used lights to energy-efficient CFLs. Once this “Change a Light” campaign was proven successful, we moved to a broader “Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR” campaign that encouraged choosing other ENERGY STAR label products and making other energy-efficient behavior changes.
Results: The initial Change a Light campaign transformed the CFL market from 4 percent of market share to 20 percent over the course of the campaign. More significant for the continuing success of the labeling program, ENERGY STAR now has an awareness level above 80 percent.