E.ON has created a "superpower" air-pollution-fighting cape for children to wear on their walk to school in a bid to encourage parents to ditch their cars for the morning journey.
In a campaign devised by Engine Creative, the cape is a collaboration between E.ON and fashion brand Scamp & Dude. Each cape contains fabric created by theBreath fabric, which absorbs and disintegrates air pollution.
The launch of the capes is supported by an "Air heroes" film, which shows a young girl who is suddenly confronted by a menacing pollution monster on her way to school. But as she is wearing her "Air heroes" cape, she is fully prepared and swiftly defeats her nemesis. The voiceover lets viewers know that by walking to school in one of these superpowered capes, they can help fight car pollution thanks to the special fabric, which “breaks down pollution particles, letting you become an Air hero”.
The girl and her cape will go on to fight pollution in further social and digital rollouts, while supporting activity is planned via podcasters and influencers.
There is also an online competition that parents can enter to win capes for their child’s entire class.
E.ON has also teamed up with the Cartoon Network and Boomerang to create a series of idents and a special collaboration with Teen Titans Go! In addition, the brand has worked with Learn by Design to deliver a lesson to primary-school-aged children to help educate them about air pollution.
The "Air heroes" campaign, directed and produced by Thomas Ormonde at MindsEye, was devised by Engine Creative, which was also behind E.ON’s 2019 multi-award-winning air-quality initiative that featured a giant pair of lungs that monitored the air pollution in London. The idea for "Air heroes" is to reach beyond education and physically help to reduce air pollution, especially around schools where idling cars on the school run exacerbate the problem.
Each individual cape contains enough of theBreath fabric to break down the amount of air pollution produced by four petrol cars over the course of a year.
Scott Somerville, head of brand and marketing at E.ON, said: “Pollution and air quality affects us all on a daily basis and we know from our research that it’s something parents and children are actively worrying about, especially around schools. So we wanted to create a campaign that would raise the awareness of air pollution in a fun and engaging way and inspire parents and children to think about the small steps they can take on a daily basis to help clean the air in our communities.
"We’re delighted to have teamed up with fashion brand Scamp & Dude to create the 'Air heroes' capes and we hope together we can empower children and parents to become 'Air heroes' and make a difference. It’s all part of our wider commitment to driving the energy transition, giving us all a cleaner and greener future.”
Ross Newton, creative director at Engine Creative, added: “Even though it’s virtually invisible, we wanted to show kids that car pollution is out there and it’s an enemy that needs to be destroyed. We also wanted to convince them that they can take action themselves and be as powerful as the superheroes they admire in comics and films.
"By following that superhero visual style, we knew we would instantly engage them, and then it was simply a case of explaining how they can fight pollution and create cleaner and safer air for everyone.”
Jo Tutchener-Sharp, founder of Scamp & Dude and designer of the cape, said: “The E.ON x Scamp & Dude 'Air heroes' capes bring together our signature print with a magic ingredient – the technical fabric – to supercharge children across the nation.”
The campaign broke on 6 September and runs for two months across the UK. Media is being handled by Starcom.