The Barcelona City Council, in collaboration with energy companies that operate in the city, has developed Mecanisme Energètic Sostenible (Sustainable Energy Mechanism), a new energy transformation plan which will provide buildings with solar panels at zero cost, so that they can create green energy for the households within.
To communicate this initiative, we have designed a brand and created a campaign which aims to make the policy understandable and attractive. We have created a clear narrative and a light-hearted graphic universe that talks to people and motivates them to make the move towards renewable energy.
“Our aim was to create a positive brand that would empower citizens. More often than not, institutions preach to people instead of encouraging them to embrace change in a more positive way.”
Rafa Martínez, COO Partner & Head of Brand Strategy at Folch
For the naming, we realised that the acronym that came from the technical name of the plan itself could be transformed into the word “més”, which in Catalan means “more”, so we named the initiative MES Barcelona, (‘More Barcelona’). Besides comprising the innovative aspects of the brand, the acronym gives it an emotive component, and is also short and easy to remember.
“The naming exercise consisted of finding a descriptive name that was at the same time easy to retain. We needed a name that spoke of the future and of transformation; that was positive and aspirational, without over-promising; and that linked with the topic: energy. This is how MES Barcelona was born as the acronym of Mecanisme Energètic Sostenible.”
Albert Folch, Creative Director & Founder at Folch
Drawing from this idea, we created a declinable ‘mother’ claim that used “more” as a quantity noun: ‘MES Barcelona és més futur’ (‘More Barcelona is more future’). To develop the narrative, we focused on the core values of sustainability, green energy, economic savings and quality of life, and created claims for each, organising the main ideas and wrapping up the content of the campaign.
“This kind of policy is still rare in our political culture, so in order for people to embrace it we found it essential to be very explanatory, and at the same time engaging. We had to make cooperation appealing, by showing both the individual and collective benefits of the measure.”
Berta Reventós, Content Editor & Curator at Folch
As for the graphic part, we wanted to avoid a traditional representation of the renewable energy universe, which tends to be out of reach for most people. Instead, we chose to represent the positive outcome of the policy, through surrealistic illustrations of everyday characters in a colourful style, giving the campaign a playful and positive approach.
The chromatography played an important part in the design, with yellow being the main colour as it is easily relatable to the sun, the source of energy we are focusing on. We wanted to establish MES as a brand, so it was important to create a visual system that would make it recognisable and that provided it with an identity.
“Working with Francesco helped us treat these new policies in an abstract and approachable way. With this campaign it was clear to us that we had to use a language that was both direct and inspirational.”
Oriol Corsà, Designer at Folch
The campaign has been rolled out through both online and offline channels: it has been spread on social media through a digital activation plan, and through traditional mass media by creating a radio ad for the main broadcast channels. Also, we believed that the environment where the campaign should be seen was the city itself, where it can be strategically placed in certain areas.
“This initiative is a good example of how we should pursue the 2030 Agenda: with the public sector promoting initiatives, with the private sector carrying them out, and with the citizens participating.”
Miquel Rodríguez Planas, 2030 Agenda Commissioner at the Barcelona City Council
Altogether, MES Barcelona has been created as an umbrella brand that aims to connect all of the actions and initiatives related to sustainability and environment within the Barcelona City Council from now on, with a broader narrative and conceptual framework.