Virtual Production in association withThe Immortal Awards

National Energy Action Shows People How to Donate Their Energy Bill Rebate

Digital Agency
London, UK
Awareness-raising film from Collective was developed in Unreal Engine and filmed entirely in virtual production as a way of keeping costs down

The doubleheader of the energy emergency and cost of living crisis will mean some families will have to choose between heating and eating. While the £400 Government energy rebate will be a vital lifeline for countless people, it will be an unneeded bonus for many others. 

To try and level the playing field, global digital agency Collective has created a completely pro bono campaign and supporting film for the charity National Energy Action asking those consumers who don't need it, to donate their rebate - and showing them how they can easily do it. All people have to do is visit NEA’s website to donate all or part of their rebate.  

The initiative is backed by an awareness-raising film shot entirely in Virtual Production and built in Unreal Engine, a filming technique that not only saves time, but makes the production process much more cost-effective and energy efficient. 

Collective has spent much of last year working closely with the IPA to introduce Unreal to the advertising and marketing industry. The Virtual Production stage and technology was provided by Virtual Production innovation lab and production studio Pathway, also pro-bono. 

The donation page is here.

The film starts with a long queue of smiling people from all walks of life, from parents with children, to a shop worker, to a motorcycle courier, to a woman in her dressing gown. They are all standing in a forest holding a block of wood each, with the sound of chopping in the background. As the VO says the line “Chop your own wood, it warms you twice” we see the shop worker take an axe and chop his wood. As more and more people chop their wood, the VO explains that with the cost-of-living crisis biting, people will need to choose between eating and heating, but you can help to “warm the country” twice by donating your rebate.

Zack Gardner, copywriter at Collective, said, “The line 'Chop your own wood, it warms you twice' endures because it’s a centuries-old truism. And one that we wanted to hang our campaign on. Donating your government energy rebate will warm the country twice. Because you can feel the warmth of having helped someone. And someone else can put their heating on and feel the warmth of being helped.”

“Having spent the last year working with the IPA to bring Unreal Engine to the industry, being able to create everything in Unreal and Virtual Production was just the icing on the cake.” 

 Adam Scorer, chief executive of NEA, said, “We know the energy crisis is forcing an unprecedented amount of people to make impossible choices when it comes to heating and eating this winter. National Energy Action believes everyone should feel warm and safe in their own home.

“Early last year, the UK Government announced a £400 reduction on electricity bills for all households. It is not means tested and you cannot opt out. This rebate is vital for some, but not others. Many asked us what they could do to help, so we set up our Donate the Rebate campaign. Collective’s campaign encapsulates our message, asking those who don’t need the money to keep warm to consider donating all, or some of their rebate to us to help the most vulnerable households.” 

Agency / Creative
Post Production / VFX
Work from Collective
Pump up the Jam
Jam Shed
Warm the Country Twice
National Energy Action