Solar’s social network
PES is very pleased to welcome Noemie Bourdin of Upsolar to its pages. The Marketing and Branding Director talks to us about the company's innovative approach to engaging with the market, and their plans to further embrace social media as a means of spreading the word on renewables.
PES: Upsolar has always had a distinguished look for a module provider. How does that relate to your company's core missions?
Noemie Bourdin: PV module providers tend to focus on delivering the materials to make solar power possible - certainly an important aspect of our business - but the message of solar's benefits is often lost in translation when it comes time to market these products to the general public. We have always tried to distinguish our marketing from the standard PV industry offerings by taking a more light-handed approach. The idea behind our look and messaging is to reach the masses by appealing to what interests them - an idea we took a step further with our advertising design contest.
PES: Can you talk a bit more about how the contest worked?
NB: The goal of our process was to solicit public input on fan-created artwork to find a design that would really resonate with the masses. We launched a call for designs in early 2012, inviting interested parties to "like" us on Facebook to receive instructions on how to submit designs. Entries poured in, each integrating our required messaging about the importance of solar and environmental consciousness, and were then posted to our Facebook page. From here, our fans were asked to vote for their favourite design.
PES: Can you tell us a little about the people who entered the competition?
NB: We received submissions from across the globe, mostly from applicants in their 20s and early 30s. Many of the designers had little background in the solar industry, but there was a general desire to promote the adoption of renewable energy for the betterment of this and future generations. We were proud to see these young people combine their interests and artistic abilities to visually communicate Upsolar's sustainability message to those unfamiliar with this sector.
PES: Beyond creating a new, community-centric ad, what was Upsolar hoping to achieve for the company through the advertising contest?