Horse and Hound and client Plico blow up

Horse and Hound and client Plico blow up

Horse and Hound (now Wildlings Creative) has taken the standard testimonial campaign and totally blown it up.


Energy is a hot topic and it’s been made even hotter with the introduction of Plico’s recent campaign, Mister Sun.

Zina Reeves, Plico’s Head of Brand and Marketing said advertising for the solar industry is a sea of sameness and as a challenger brand their campaigns needed to reflect that approach.

“Our independent research told us that cost is the key barrier to transitioning into clean energy for everyday Australian families. So, we built a business model to allow households to access a solar and battery system without a huge upfront cost. Our key point of differentiation is the battery, which is the missing piece to really maximise solar energy, by storing what household panels produce to use day and night,” Reeves said.

Plico instead introduced a low weekly subscription fee over ten years. “The outdated traditional model of a single large upfront payment is not affordable. We want more households to benefit from a solar and battery system at their home and this approach means people can see an immediate saving,” Reeves added.

Reeves said research also indicated the market had been flooded with solar providers of different quality, pricing and reputation.

“People are unsure in moving across to solar because there is confusion on what is the best product and service for them. We know testimonials from our genuinely happy customers would build purchasing confidence, but we didn’t want the same predicable customer interview. That’s where Mister Sun shines,” she said.

According to Wildings Creative Pat Lennox, they invented a personification of the ‘sun’ whose job it is to quiz John and Sharlene (Plico customers) about their Plico experiences but clearly Mister Sun is feeling resentful.

“Unlike most earnest, slick interviewers, Mister Sun has clearly taken this gig under duress. Despite being THE source of Plico’s solar power, he clearly resents the fact that the customers are completely ignoring him in favour of Plico’s technologically advanced panels plus battery system, and exceptional customer service,” he said.

The comedic tension arising between an enthusiastic Plico customer, and a clearly under-appreciated sun, makes for a unique testimonial approach, and a campaign that has resulted in significant lead generation for Plico.

“We had a 19 per cent increase in leads and a 30 per cent increase in branded searches. Mister Sun resonated with our audiences. He’s taking a well-earned rest for now, as we launch our Batteries Should Always Come Included campaign in the lead up to Christmas,” Reeves said.

This difference in advertising approach also carries over to how Plico manages their campaign team.

“We work with an amazing collective of marketing experts, all with their own sphere of expertise. It’s vital to Plico’s continued growth that we all work well both independently and collaboratively as a team. There are no egos here, just a genuine passion for the cause, of making clean energy affordable to as many Aussies as possible. Across my career, such genuine respect and shared vision across multiple agencies is rare,” Reeves said.

Plico work with Bureau 42 for media planning and buying, Unify for digital media and performance marketing, The Hub Marketing for PR and corporate communications, and Core Data for research.

“I love this kind of team approach. Everyone knows their role and how they contribute to the bigger success of Plico. But even more importantly, you love working with a client that respects and appreciates the effort you make, and that’s Plico,” said Nicolle Jenkins, The Hub Marketing Managing Director.