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British Gas and Professor Green Stop the Silence around Energy Debt in Emotive Film

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nucleus launches campaign to raise awareness of the British Gas Energy Trust with powerful spot directed by Stink's Geej Ower

British Gas and Professor Green Stop the Silence around Energy Debt in Emotive Film

4 in 10 British households will struggle to pay their next energy bill, yet 61% of people are unaware that financial support services exist for household debt. The 'Stop the Silence' campaign aims to change that by raising awareness of the help available through the British Gas Energy Trust - an independent charitable organisation founded in 2004 by British Gas to support those facing financial hardship and energy debt.  

The campaign from nucleus, the integrated agency group responsible for all British Gas communications, is led by an emotive film created with award winning director Geej Ower. The story is based on real conversations the British Gas Energy Trust has with the people it supports on a daily basis. 

At the centre of the narrative is Rob - a single dad silently struggling with the emotional impact of not being able to pay his bills. He chooses to not confide his problems with the loved ones that surround him and instead puts on a brave face. The film takes the audience on a journey from a life full of noise, colour and activity to one much quieter, duller and more subdued as our protagonist switches off lights and appliances, to save energy, until he’s finally sat alone in complete silence - a consequence of his situation and isolation from support. 

In the final scene, however, Rob receives a call back from the British Gas Energy Trust offering him the possibility of a different, more positive future. This is echoed in the final narration, voiced by Professor Green, which encourages the viewer not to suffer in silence and to reach out to the charity for support if they’re in need of help. 

Micky Tudor, chief creative officer, nucleus, comments: “We wanted to capture in a nuanced way, the all-too-common situation of a man struggling to cope with rising energy bills. It was important to us that the film portrays the situation many people are currently going through, without ratifying the stereotypes attached with financial hardship. The film does so in two ways: first by acknowledging the sacrifices and isolation individuals facing fuel poverty can experience, and second by showcasing that the first step to help is to talk about it.”

As well as lending his voice to the hero film the campaign spokesperson, Professor Green, shares his own experience of growing up in Hackney with his grandmother who regularly had to make the difficult choice between paying the bills and eating a hot meal. 

Americo Lenza, customer experience and marketing director, British Gas Energy, says: “As more people face the struggles of fuel poverty for the first time, it is essential for us to not only fund the amazing work of the British Gas Energy Trust, but also bring it to the attention of a wider audience who may not know support is available. Too often we’ve found that people who are struggling don’t know the resources out there, which is why this poignant film and the other elements of the campaign are so important to raise awareness.”

Geej Ower, director, Stink Films, says: "The British Gas Energy Trust is doing such vital work at the moment and the message of this campaign is such a powerful one I was thrilled to help them bring it to life. We wanted to highlight the grim reality that a lot of people are currently living in, struggling with the rising costs in energy. To show the silence and shame that surrounds this topic - and let people know they’re not alone and that help is out there. The approach was to capture this descent from noise, light and a happy family life to a place of solitude, silence and darkness.”

The campaign is launching from the 4th of May and will feature in cinema, radio and digital media. It marks the second large-scale campaign highlighting the work the British Gas Energy Trust does, following the ‘You’re Not Alone’ campaign in late last year, also developed by nucleus.  

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British Gas

British Gas Energy Customer Experience, Sales & Marketing Director: Americo Lenza

Head of Marketing & Brand: Felicity Ashley

Senior Campaigns & Performance Manager: Lucy Bryant

Digital Marketing Manager: Ilanchenny Thiagarajah

nucleus creative team

Chief Creative Officer: Micky Tudor

Creative Director: Sam Willard

Creative team: Helen Rogerson and Owen Hunter Jenkins

UK Business Lead: Jason Andrews

UK Strategy Lead: Oli Watersone

Senior Strategist: Olly Owen

Account Director: Lucy Iron

Account Manager: Azna Fall

Creative Producer: Elly Knott

Agency Producer: Charlie Hurlock, Rick Carter

nucleus PR team

UK PR lead: Lee Waite

PR Associate Director: Mindy Gold

PR Account Director: Catriona Lammas

nucleus media team

Media Senior Associate Director: Tim Williams

Media Senior Digital Associate Director: Bea Spring

Media Senior Search Associate Director: Mata Garcia

Media Investment Director: Luke Armstrong

Media Social Account manager: Vangelis Pourikis


Production Company: Stink

Director: Geej Ower

1st Assistant Director: Clara Paris

Producer: Sara Nouman

Production Manager: Ayesha Mar

Director of Photography: James Rhodes

Production Designer: Vicente Ben

Sound Design: Factory Studios

Sound Design and Mix : Phil Bolland

Audio Producer : Beth Massey


Post Production: Envy

VFX: Kieran Baxter

Senior Post Producer: Kayleigh Macdonald

Colourist: Jax Harney

Colour Producer: Franky Chadwick


Editing: MSE

Offline Editor: Owen O’Sullivan

Head of Production: SJ O’Mara

Genres: Storytelling

Categories: Gas, Utilities

The&Partnership, Thu, 05 May 2022 12:36:56 GMT