How is hydrogen produced? And how does it get to my home? These were two of the most frequently asked questions received from the participants of our social science research project, undertaken with Leeds Becket University. Which got us thinking – what is the best way to answer these questions? Should it be through an informational leaflet, a TV advert, a billboard poster.
How is hydrogen produced? And how does it get to my home?
By Stella Matthews, Energy Futures Business Development Manager
Rather than guess on the most effective method we asked our participants, who overwhelmingly stated that a short animation depicting the process – that could be viewed online (preferably through social media) was the best approach. Leaflets were thought to be not overly engaging and many of the participants admitted that they very rarely pay attention to TV adverts or catch all of the information displayed on billboards. Whereas an animation was thought to be a fun and engaging way of making people sit up and take notice – particularly if shared through social media.
So we set out to develop an animation to explain how hydrogen is produced and how it will (post conversion) be transported to our homes. In order to get this right we engaged with our participants, who were of all ages, backgrounds and resided in various locations across the UK.
Asking them if the script sounded engaging and what images it brought to mind, showing the images we had produced and seeing if they understood these without the script – before combining the two to create an engaging and clear message.
Following this we also asked about the voice they expected to hear narrating the animation – this was an interesting discussion, which saw our participants putting forward a few famous voices including Michaela Cole, Brian Cox and David Attenborough. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to involve with any of these people (I’m not sure hydrogen is high profile enough just yet). However, we finally found that they favoured a voice that was reliable, trustworthy, intelligent (but not in a way which was alienating), relatable, female and northern.
After putting all of these elements together (script, images and voiceover artist) we were ready to engage our animator with creating the finished product that you can see here.
We’ll be conducting further testing of the animation with other members of the general public to ensure that it achieves its aims of answering the main questions around production and transportation.
And who knows maybe in the future we’ll have a Brian Cox or David Attenborough lending their voice and/or face to hydrogen in the future!