Beyond Thinking : Bord Gais

Bord Gais (An Irish Gas & Electricity provider) are no strangers when it comes to trying out new ideas in their marketing communications. To announce their foray into the electricity market in 2009 they spoke to bloggers ahead of the mainstream media to get their take on it all. That was incredibly well received. Earlier today they announced the launch of their new iPhone App, Think Beyond. The free app, available from today, allows consumers to check account balances, billing dates and transaction history for their electricity and gas. A future version will allow customers to monitor usage of power in the home.
So how do you go about launching an app like this? Think of your target audience – people with smartphones. They don’t necessarily have to be Bord Gais customers, but providing such a useful app may make non customers consider becoming customers. This is combination of early adopters, office/desk/pc bound who will gladly give up some time for a reward. So how can these people be reached in a way that generates buzz, ‘beyond’ what would be achievable in traditional media? Design a bunch of activities for them to take part in, offer some really cool prizes, use Twitter for its real time updates, it’s ability to post photo’s, and use those taking part to help spread word of the app and competition virally amo
ngst a much wider audience.
eoinos announces on Twitter they will be giving away €1,600 in iTunes vouchers and 4 iPhone 4’s. This advert also appeared in today’s press. Note they used the advert to use a member of staff’s account and to promote their Facebook page.

As tweeted by eoinos today “Ok folks this hour to be in with a chance of winning the iPhone or Vouchers, all you have to do is download our fingerprint image and set it as your iPhone wallpaper and tweet a screenshot making sure to tag tweet with#thinkbeyond”.

This task was iPhone specific. But by setting up the hashtag and getting respondents to tweet their task they were also promoting the competition to everyone that followed them. That’s viral marketing. This task closed at 12.45 and the winner announced at 1pm.

Task 2: 1.10pm

From eoinos “So thats tweet or email picture of you next to one of our ‘Get in touch with your account’ ads to be in draw, remember to tag #thinkbeyond”. At this stage #thinkbeyond and eoins were trending in Dublin on Twitter.

Task 3: 2.30pm

From eoinos “Ok for the 3rd hour all you have to do is create or draw or paint etc the words ‘Think Beyond’ in a creative way and tweet or email a pic”. This produced some really creative entries like how about this video entry from finianmurphy


The level of entries at this stage were so good and the competition was running so over closing time was extended to 4pm. Some of the runners up are below, and more entries at the end of this post. The judges requested more time before announcing the winner of the iPhone 4 for this round so the winner will be announced at lunchtime on Friday.