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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Green Light Signal

Bronze Honor in Creative Use of Technology

About this entry


Making more use of low carbon energy sources is vital for the sustainability of our future. National Grid is intent on progress towards net zero by 2050.  


Ahead of their sponsorship of COP26, National Grid wanted to create a groundswell of awareness and understanding of progress towards - and their commitment to - net zero. They needed a positive story, focussing on the progress that has already been made to combat climate change inertia and what other actions can and will be taken to make an impact. 

As one of the UK’s largest infrastructure providers, National Grid provide an essential service that we all rely on every day, yet don’t “see”. The public aren’t necessarily aware of the action being taken by National Grid to move Great Britain towards net zero, and also aren’t aware of how the evolution of the grid means their own choices can contribute towards greener, more sustainable living.  

Why does this entry deserve to win?

National Grid ESO have a looooot of data. A lot. About all energy produced and all energy consumed, at any given time.  

And most people want to help battle climate change, but they don’t know how. They don’t have the information and feel the task is too big. 

What if we took National Grid ESO’s live data from across Great Britain and used it to create a solution which would let consumers know how to make smarter energy choices at home in real time, so they could do their part for sustainable living? 

Introducing The Green Light Signal. The low energy consumption lightbulb that glows green when the electricity supply at home is cleanest and cleanest, letting people know in real time when they can turn on their dishwasher or charge their car, without negatively impacting the planet!  


Policy makers and the general public, especially GenZ (8 – 24) and New & Young families (24 – 44) 

If people know when the energy is available to them is coming from renewable, green energy sources, they are empowered to make choices that are better for the planet.  

In order to reach our target audience, we told a simple data story to start conversation, increase renewable energy use and show people that their individual actions do make a difference, at the same time as raising awareness of National Grid’s green energy ambitions.  

By meeting this audience where they were – at home – and offering them a real, practical solution to reducing their own environmental impact, National Grid were able to demonstrate that they are acting in real and robust ways.  

The innovative nature of the approach was designed to earn attention beyond the scope of the initial bulb roll out. 


We linked National Grid ESO data to smart bulbs through an API. Carbon footprint data could then be pushed in real time, from servers to homes.  

A setting was made to change the colour of the bulb once zero carbon energy sources kicked-in.  Users’ location data was added on sign-up. 

Bulbs, along with user-guides, were circulated to celebrity talent, influencers, key decision-makers and politicians around the UK, including COP26 minister Alok Sharma.  

We used the LIFX smart LED lightbulb so anyone could purchase their own, make the API connection, and turn it into their own Green Light Signal. Influencers pointed consumers towards the campaign landing page, which showed them how.  

For accessibility and scale, our app ‘When to Plug in’ disseminates the same information via mobile. Alexa and Google Assistant commands were also installed.  

The campaign covered earned, paid, influencer, MP and stakeholder engagement. 

We promoted at COP26.  


237.8 Million total reach 

  750 Bulbs gifted, including to journalists, celebrity talent, social media influencers, energy and sustainability opinion leaders, ministers and MPs, and FTSE 100 CEOs, including Admiral, BT, IHG and Unilever, COP26 Principal Partners. 

  18,708 visitors to the campaign website landing pages.  

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson picked up the campaign activation and championed the Green Light Signal with an installation outside the doors of 10 Downing Street, creating a powerful image which spread further awareness.


Paid Ads: 

10.8 Millions Impressions 

3 Million Reach 

17.1 Link Clicks 

3.2 Million Video Views 


43 pieces media coverage 

100% positive or neutral sentiment (80% above target) 

88% of coverage featured a spokesman quote 

95% coverage featured at least 2 key messages   


National media coverage: 9 (3 above target) 

Broadcast Radio: 15 (9 above target) 

Tech & Trade Press: 12 (2 above target) 

Broadcast TV 2 (on target) 

4 influencers engaged, leading to: 

25 posts and videos 

11.28% average engagement rate on influencer posts (target was 3.5%) 

1 Million Reach 

700K Impressions   


135.2K Total impressions 

8.2K Total video views 

2.4K Engagements 


Paid Ads: 

1.1 Million Impressions 

472 Total engagements 

9,575 Link Clicks 

465.4K Video Views 


55K Total impressions 

345 Total video views 

760 Engagements 


Video for Green Light Signal

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Edelman, National Grid


Entry Credits