In a nutshell:

How do you persuade a cynical older audience that smart meters are a good idea, against a backdrop of 1,850 negative media stories in the previous 12 months? 

By building an immersive time travel experience.

By the start of 2019, awareness of smart meters had reached over 95% and over 13 million had been installed. But the rollout had faced numerous technical and logistical challenges, stories of which flooded the national press. In the face of these negative stories, millions of people remained suspicious about them. There was one group in particular that was proving difficult to persuade: the over 65s. 

We needed a new strategy and an innovative new approach if we were to break through the noise and change attitudes.

Telling our audience to get a smart meter via traditional advertising wasn’t working. We had to do something different. We needed them to question their views on smart meters, by making the environmental impact of inaction more tangible, relevant and meaningful. We had to show them the impact that smart meters could make. To do this, we needed a partner that could help us to build trust with the over 65 audience and the National Trust was the perfect fit

But instead of creating advertising for National Trust channels, we decided to do something different: we created bespoke time travel experiences at six properties across the UK. 

‘Travel To 2050’ was a tech led, immersive, multimedia time travel experience, dramatising the potential effects of increasing carbon emissions over time. Transported to 2050, visitors witnessed what various National Trust sites could look like if we fail to protect them from the climate crisis.

The experience successfully repositioned smart meters as an essential next step in modernising Britain’s energy system and building a more sustainable future.