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Case Studies


Capital Radio ‘Lights Out’ campaign

Capital Radio ‘Lights Out’ campaign

By Nick Button, Marketing Director of Capital Radio

This campaign won ‘Best Radio Station Event’ in the Radio Academy Promotions & Marketing Awards 2007


Capital Radio is part of GCap Media, the leading commercial radio group in the UK. Capital 95.8 is the Sound of London, and brings listeners more music, showbiz entertainment, and 24-hour news that keeps them connected with the city.

Capital 95.8 is committed to taking action on climate change and energy saving.  The station instigated and delivered "Lights Out London" to raise awareness of the small ways in which Londoners as individuals can effect big change.

On Thursday, June 21, 2007 (The Longest Day) between 9pm and 10pm, Capital Radio called on Londoners to switch off their non-essential lights and appliances.

'Lights Out London' was the launch pad of a longer campaign that aims to reduce greenhouse emissions and demonstrate how a few small actions can literally make the world of difference. We wanted to start the long journey to London becoming the greenest Capital city in the world.


*    Get Londoners thinking about global warming

*    Create something that people notice and can get involved in.

*    Showcase actions taken by individuals, business and schools which demonstrate Londoners are willing to change

The project relied on key partners coming together to create maximum input for the campaign.

These Headline partners supported Lights Out London:


Love London


Business in the Community

Other key partners included EDF Energy, Global Cool, Blackout Britain, National Grid and London 21.


On the day, or should I say evening, to see the lights go out across the city was a unique experience including Piccadilly Circus for the first time since the Second World War.

Creativity was applied throughout the project. On air the production was outstanding including the special broadcast during the one hour designated for Lights Out London. The website was designed to reflect the project and was praised by all partners.

Capital Radio's staff entered into the project with great enthusiasm which continued to build throughout the project. On the day all 300+ staff were either involved or talking about 'Lights Out London'.

Capital Radio is in a position to make a difference and with 'Lights Out London' we took that opportunity to create a change that Londoners welcomed in a big way.

'Lights Out London' made businesses and individuals more aware of how a small individual effort could make a big difference to climate change and energy saving. This was demonstrated by the number of participants (over 10,000) and supporting organizations.

A host of celebrity support also came on board including Sir Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Rhianna, David Attenborough and whole list of others.

Plus the launch by the Mayor,Ken Livingstone during Johnny Vaughn's breakfast show gave the initiative a great start. Overall Lights Out London grabbed the imagination of so many with a real change in attitudes to this issue. In a few weeks LOL has become a talking point for thousands of Londoners.


Lights Out London was the biggest one-day CSR event on commercial radio since the Tsunami Appeal.

Internally the project created many benefits including a complete review of the company's own environmental policy. Our facilities management team introduced a programme of energy awareness in our Leicester Square building. In the week of Lights Out London 14% was saved on energy consumption (equating to 0.65 tonnes of carbon dioxide).

The press coverage was extensive plus coverage on ITV and even the BBC! All of this contributed towards the building of our audience in London. 

Over 10,000 listeners registered through our websites.

'Lights Out London' was the most attention grabbing campaign we have ever carried out. But it was a team effort led by Capital Radio. The initiative is now being rolled out around the UK with other stations in the GCap Media Group. Lights Out Manchester is planned for October 2007.

The project also showed how together we can make a big impact on people's awareness of something as important as climate change.

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