Ahead of a cold winter in Europe, Finnish Gigantti, the largest consumer electronics retailer in the Nordics, has made the crucial step of decreasing the brightness of all of its advertising (both on screen and OOH) by 20% to save energy. This vital reduction will ultimately decrease energy consumption caused by Gigantti’s ads by up to 14%.
Based on a simple idea that utilises the LED technology implemented in modern TV screens, phone screens and computer displays, this solution - brought to life by SEK and Gigantti- is also a nudge to other brands and businesses to follow suit. The simple dimming filter, dubbed the ‘Brighthless Filter’, can be used by anybody willing to participate - all brands have to do is find it on SEK’s Facebook and Instagram.
Starting the period of dimmed ads on the 26th of September, the electronics retailer saw all video advertising, banners, digital out of home and social media turn down the lights for the winter ahead. Sami Särkelä, head of brand & digital at Gigantti says, “The Brightless Filter proves that energy efficient solutions can be found all around us. We all need to take many small actions in order for the combined effect to be significant. We hope that the filter will inspire thought and discussion on the important topic of energy saving.”
This, however, is not the end of the brand’s energy-saving efforts. They have also switched to using more efficient LED-illumination, adjusted the energy consumption of TV and info screens, as well as the consumption of refrigerators at its stores - even indoor temperatures saw reductions by 1-1.5 degrees in all their locations as of this month.
LBB’s Zoe Antonov caught up with SEK’s senior creative Samuel Räikkönen and creative designer Niclas Runeberg, to find out more about the collaboration with Gigantti.
LBB> Tell me about the relationship between Gigantti and SEK. How did you get involved in this project? How did the idea take shape?
Samuel & Niclas> The relationship is actually a rather new one. We started working together in the beginning of 2022 after Gigantti, part of Elkjøp, chose SEK as its lead agency in Finland. We continuously pitch and spar ideas with Gigantti, and as the energy crisis started to loom on the horizon, this one came up as a concrete way in which Gigantti could help Finns save energy.
LBB> Ahead of a cold winter here in Europe, people are doing everything to reduce their energy consumption, so this campaign came at a perfect time. How much do people know about brightness reduction and how are you educating audiences on why Gigantti has taken this step?
Samuel & Niclas> The Nordic people are generally tech savvy, solution-orientated, and environmentally-minded, so the notion of a Finnish consumer electronics retailer doing its part in reducing excess consumption is quite natural. This is just one part of a greater effort towards collective energy consumption reduction. Gigantti is also committed to reducing its own energy consumption by, for example, switching to more efficient illumination and lowering the indoor temperature by 1-1.5 degrees in all of its stores. They also help customers make more energy efficient choices and assist them in how to best use devices and appliances.
LBB> What is your message to other brands and agencies - do you believe it’s just a matter of time to follow suit?
Samuel & Niclas> We certainly hope so. This should be on everyone’s agenda right now. Our example is an easy way to save energy, and the more players that participate, the bigger our combined impact will be.
LBB> Regardless of the political climate on the continent, do you think that this sort of practice will and should become standard in the future?
Samuel & Niclas> To be honest, the main role of creativity in marketing is to build brands and sell products. However, as we have seen with past and ongoing crises, they can work in accelerating positive behavioural change. We believe that creativity is a great tool when tackling challenges, and if we can leave a lasting mark, then all the better. Will it carry over past the crisis? That remains to be seen. But until technology evolves to the point that this solution is obsolete, it can be a good alternative.
LBB> What other steps do you think the industry can take together to tackle consumption excess?
Samuel & Niclas> That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? We think that the real question is how to keep enjoying life and providing wonderful experiences, while lowering the negative effects of excess consumption. Our job is to come up with ways for brands to increase their impact in the world while reducing their impact on the world.
LBB> What kind of tech was used by SEK to make sure that all Gigantti ads are reduced in brightness?
Samuel & Niclas> Modern screens are based on LED-technology, where millions of pixels are illuminated by LED-lights. The brighter the screen, the more power it consumes. The simple insight behind this idea was to just reduce the consumption that the screen uses while showing our content. This can, and should, of course be done manually by each user, but we decided to do it for them. So basically the tech behind making the idea come to life is also quite simple: we made a filter that reduces the brightness of our ads by 20% and implemented it in every piece of content we make during the energy crisis.
LBB> Why did you set on 20% dimming? What kind of research went into this decision?
Samuel & Niclas> We set out to find the optimal relationship between energy saving and image quality. In collaboration with Motiva, the Finnish state company for sustainable development, we tested the filter on a range of different displays and screen technologies. We settled for a 20% reduction in brightness, which turned out to be the sweet spot we were looking for.
LBB> Do you think such an approach can be taken with OOH advertising? Dimming billboards seems counterproductive to their very nature, but it might prove necessary.
Samuel & Niclas> Yes it most certainly can. We have already done that by dimming all of Gigantti’s DOOH advertising. The idea could also be implemented in more old school billboard advertising by dimming the lights. While it all may seem counterproductive, we think our idea goes to show that the content and experience does remain intact with the brightness turned down a few notches.
LBB> How does this step reflect the brand pillars of Gigantti and tie in with their overall ethos?
Samuel & Niclas> Gigantti’s mission is to help people get more out of life through technology, and finding solutions to this is in their brand promise. We believe that this action is very much in line with using technology to add value to consumers and a great solution to mitigating the current crisis.
LBB> Any final thoughts?
Samuel & Niclas> In the spirit of collective energy saving, the Brightless Filter can be used by anyone who wants to participate. We even made the filter available to anyone on Instagram and Facebook, so we encourage everyone to try it out on their content. Let’s get through this crisis together.