Cannings Purple Help Hyzon Take Hydrogen To The World

Cannings Purple

Cannings Purple 20 Jul 2021
3 mins

Perth in Western Australia might not be the first place you’d expect to be the home of a global communications campaign for a hydrogen fuel cell business based in America.

But Cannings Purple has always done things differently, and Hyzon Motors recognised that when it selected us in a competitive process as its global communications provider.

In August 2020, Hyzon Motors, a US- headquartered global supplier of hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles, hired Cannings Purple in anticipation of speeding up the deployment of its vehicles around the world and preparing for a major transformation – a listing on the NASDAQ.

Cannings Purple built the Hyzon Motors story and brand, helping commercialise almost two decades of hydrogen technology development in preparation for a NASDAQ listing.

Through a digital and social-media-first approach, media strategy and engagement, a lightning-quick website build and innovative digital solutions in an international pandemic, we helped create value and impact for a brand with purpose.

The challenge

The challenge was to communicate with a global market the value and potential of this (then) quiet achiever, and position it as a leader in the hydrogen landscape to attract a suitable Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) and build interest in the business.

Although its technology is transformative, its public profile, brand and communications were conservative and traditional. Hyzon did not have a profile, media connections, a content strategy or even a brand.

Everything from corporate stationery and a website to a social media content strategy needed to be developed, and quickly.

Working across time zones and in different continents, and doing so during a pandemic, was a key challenge as we sought to develop a profile across the world that would help tell Hyzon’s story.

Hyzon CEO, Craig Knight’s authentic passion ensured he would be the face of Hyzon. In normal non-COVID circumstances, this would be through direct face-to-face engagement with the media and investors either in the studio or through live TV appearances, but in 2020, most engagement had to happen through more innovative virtual methods.


Our approach

We began with strategy.

Our initial focus was to develop a strategic plan that would position the business, redevelop its brand and take Hyzon’s inspiring purpose of “accelerating the energy transition” to the world. This was a bold approach – electric vehicles and transport were the darlings of the market, and hydrogen as a concept was very much in its infancy in terms of public understanding.

It also meant dismantling the previous brand, and rebuilding it in a way that better reflected the aspirations of the company through a new brand, website, social media, videos and collateral.

By understanding the goals of the company, and who its key stakeholders would be, we could design an approach that would get the Hyzon message seen by the right people, at the right time, in the right places.

We also knew that digital would have to lead the plan – and so energy and resources were put into a digital strategy that placed the Hyzon website at the heart of the digital communications – driving an audience to an owned platform where we could better inform and nudge them to take positive and helpful actions.

We also recognised that traditional media would be a useful content provider – getting the CEO on international TV, and training him to deliver the company’s story with style and confidence, gave us a library of quality, authoritative content that could be repurposed and used to demonstrate the Hyzon value on its own channels.


The outcome

In the first 6 months, we wrote 40 articles for the Hyzon website, developed more than 140 social media posts, including 40 videos, and generated more than 15,000 unique digital media mentions. We started up and grew the Hyzon social media activity and generated more than a million organic social media impressions.

Part of Hyzon’s commitment to accelerating the energy transition was to educate the world about hydrogen. This was a key part of our engagement, as we developed content and activity about the sector as well as the client.

We raised Hyzon’s profile and drove coverage from select energy, mobility/ transport and tech reporters. Additional activations and media engagements then followed, including the organisation of a virtual track day experience, where a Hyzon truck was taken to the streets of the Netherlands and the journey was livestreamed on the company’s website.

By putting human faces on the work being done, Hyzon rooted itself in the minds of its audience as here and now, with real products, real people, and a real business, as opposed to the other new energy transport companies which tend to be selling a “future” story.

Hyzon Motors gained global attention as a result of our integrated campaign, and was redefined as the global leader in hydrogen technology development, positioning it perfectly for its NASDAQ listing.

Commencement of trading on the NASDAQ

Last night (19 July, 2021), Hyzon announced that its Class A Common Stock had officially commenced trading on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the ticker symbol “HYZN”, following completion of its combination with SPAC vehicle DCRB.

Read the press release here.