E.ON Italy & M&C Saatchi ‘Freeze’ historic building in Milan to highlight energy waste

Ads, Creativity

M&C Saatchi Milan has created an innovative campaign for E.ON Italy, aiming to increase the energy company’s presence in the country. The integrated campaign, entitled ‘We Hate Waste’, saw a historic building in the prestigious Brera district of Milan appear completely frozen due to an air conditioner being left on for months.

On the first day of the week-long stunt no branding was used, leaving the country speculating what had happened. On the second day, E.ON’s branding was revealed at an event at the historic building to discuss energy waste issue.

With the stunt taking place above the world-famous Radetzky bar, people were invited to try the limited edition Radetzky-on-the-Rocks drink, custom-made for E.ON.

After just a few hours of the stunt running, #palazzoghiacciato (frozen palace) was the top trending topic in Italy.  After next day reveal, E.ON Italy was all over the news again, totally generating over ten million social media impressions and close to a hundred press articles and posts.

During the installation, hundreds of passers-by stopped in the middle of the street to observe the spectacle and try to find out what was going on. To add to the drama, two fire trucks were parked on a sidewalk, with an entire brigade reacting to a seeming emergency, which included rescuing people from the windows in a crane. Irritated neighbours out in the cold reacted with protests and placards, reading: ‘Stop Waste’ and ‘Not in our area’.

Peter Ilyes, CEO of E.ON Italy:

We believe that a better tomorrow is created not by consuming more for less, but by identifying and promoting more efficient energy solutions and behaviours. We feel this strongly as a company, and we wanted to make sure this value comes through clearly in our communication, too. This is what is behind “We Hate Waste” positioning.

Carlo Noseda, Managing Partner at M&C Saatchi Milan:

We all waste energy. And while it seems small on a daily basis, it accumulates to huge amounts on an annual basis. As E.ON Italy helped us realise, true saving on energy bills comes not from hunting offers, but by behavioural and attitudinal changes.

Vincenzo Gasbarro, Creative Partner M&C Saatchi Milan:

Our exaggerated stunt of reckless residential waste has worked – for two days in a row E.ON Italy were the social talk of Italy. Here’s to a brave Client on a long-term mission.

The integrated campaign by E.ON Italy began in November, running run across TV, print, outdoor, digital and social, including an energy check-up tool, also designed by the agency.

This stunt for E.ON Italy follows M&C Saatchi Milan’s work for Genertel (insurance company) which saw a submarine crash through Milan’s street’s and surface in front of the Duomo, as well as Fastweb (internet provider) stunt transforming of a metro stop in Milan into a Tokyo underground station.


  • Executive Creative Directors & Partners: Vincenzo Gasbarro, Luca Scotto di Carlo
  • Head of Content & Innovation: Andrei Kaigorodov
  • Integrated Campaign Project Manager: Marta Pettenuzzo
  • Social Media Manager: Serena Giovinazzo
  • Social Media Assistant: Martina Fretta
  • Art Director: Fabio Lettieri
  • Copywriter: Davide Pasquale
  • Digital Art Director: Claudio Laragione
  • Digital Copywriter: Giuseppina Laccarino
  • PR and Digital Media Strategy: M&C Saatchi PR
  • Production Director: Federico Fornasari
  • Production House: Utopia
  • Executive Producers: Francesco di Trani
  • Producers: Nicholas Grundy, Luigia Sergio, Giovanni Lamonaca
  • Director: Alex Grazioli
  • Head of Editing: Manuel Savoia
  • Editors: Elia Bersani, Monica Magnani, Madlain Sabin, Luca Cingolani
  • Service: Dmb Milano
  • Set Construction: innscena
  • Set Designer: Ivan Esposito
  • Photographer: Marco Cremascoli
  • Post Production: Germano Finco

M&C Saatchi is the leading independent Worldwide advertising agency network. Founded in 1995, it is built through start-ups and owner/managers with 25 Offices in 21 Countries – as few as necessary rather than as many as possible.


E.ON is an international privately-owned energy supplier focused on renewables, energy networks and customer solutions. The Group provides power and gas to about 33 million customers and is one of the leading players in the renewable segment at a global level, with 5.3 GW of renewable generation capacity. In Italy, with about 328 MW of wind power capacity and over 700.000 customers, E.ON is a major player in the power and gas market.