The NUBLU smoke and carbon monoxide detector won the title of Marketing Act of the Year!

  • Date: 01.04.2020
    Author: G4S ja

On 4 March, the honourable jury selected the best marketing acts of 2019. The launch campaign of the NUBLU smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector of G4S was awarded the Grand Prix in the business category, winning the main prize. 

The jury appreciated the holistic approach of the Nublu campaign, including the product and service design, marketing, and sales. The flexibility of the campaign was praised as well – once it turned out that people do not fully understand carbon monoxide, the tactics of the campaign were successfully adapted half-way through to raise people’s awareness. An excellent ROI (return on investment), being in the right place at the right time, and social responsibility were also highlighted. ‘A completely common item was turned into a desirable brand product,’ said Andres Kuusik, Head of the Chair of Marketing of the School of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Tartu and one of the founders of the sTARTUp Day.


The jury of the Marketing Act of the Year included advertising experts from several agencies and businesses: Andres Kuusik (University of Tartu), Annika Oja (Orkla), Indrek Soom (Initiative), Maarit Mäeveer (Estonian Marketing Association), Marge Kari (TANK), Margit Kotkas (LHV), and Mariliis Beger (Pipedrive).

Let us take a closer look of the launch campaign of the NUBLU smoke and carbon monoxide detector and its follow-up activities through a case study compiled by


Marketing campaign of the NUBLU smoke and carbon monoxide detector service

Authors of the campaign

Organisation: Tarmo Pärjala, Marketing Manager of G4S Estonia  
Media agency: Initiative
Digital agency: Mediabrands Digital
Advertising agency: Adell Taevas
Production: Adell Taevas

In the autumn of 2018, G4S Estonia launched an innovative smoke and carbon monoxide detector called NUBLU. This changed at least three paradigms related to security. Firstly, it is the first low-cost private security service in Estonia that detects fire hazards. The service is targeted towards a new market segment. Secondly, it is the first DIY security service that the client can order online, install, and reset without the participation of the sales and installation teams of the security company. Thirdly, NUBLU’s advertising and communications have helped to debunk some prevailing myths in Estonia regarding the diffusion of carbon monoxide and the installation of carbon monoxide detectors. Most importantly, however, the NUBLU smoke and carbon monoxide detector really does save lives and has made Estonia safer.


NUBLU is a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector that summons aid even when no one is home. In addition to the loud alarm signal, NUBLU sends an alert message to the control centre of G4S, who will then contact the customer and ask whether to send help. If necessary, G4S will send their patrol or voluntary rescuers to help. NUBLU’s sensor combines smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and is therefore able to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide.



For ten years now, installing smoke detectors in every dwelling has been compulsory in Estonia. In homes with a gas appliance connected to a chimney, the carbon monoxide detector is compulsory as well. Soon, this obligation will extend to the owners of stoves, fireplaces, and ovens. These is no carbon monoxide detector in most homes where it is required by law.

Until now, home surveillance was the only solution of notifying the security company about a fire. Home surveillance remains, however, too expensive for some households, or the risk of theft is not considered significant enough to use the home surveillance service. Approximately 95% of the users of G4S home surveillance also order a smoke detector connected to the security system. 

A number of studies commissioned by G4S have shown that the main threat people anticipate in connection to their living space is a fire. Unfortunately, a local smoke detector does not do much good if there is no one at home at the time the fire starts, or if only pets or people who are unable to help themselves are present. 

The NUBLU smoke and carbon monoxide service filled an empty spot at the market, but launching it was not easy due to a lot of misinformation and myths in Estonia about the diffusion of carbon monoxide.


Sales target: 10,000 subscriptions by the end of 2019. 

The purpose of changing consumer behaviour: There is no carbon monoxide detector in most Estonian homes where it would be essential. The purpose was to explain to people the dangers related to carbon monoxide and the means of protecting themselves against these dangers. Also, to make the consumer think about what would happen if they are not at home, but the risk of a fire emerges.

The purpose of changing the attitude of consumers: There is a misconception among Estonians that carbon monoxide is heavier than air and that the carbon monoxide detector should therefore be installed somewhere near the ground. NUBLU’s communications have played a major role in rebutting this false statement and in informing the consumer. It is likely that disproving this misconception has already saved many lives.


The context: In order to prevent or minimise fire damages, the as-fast-as-possible response of a third party is vital in the case of most accidents. This is especially crucial in situations where those in need of aid cannot, are not able to, or do not know how to protect themselves – like pets, children, elderly people, and people who are sleeping. The smoke and carbon monoxide detector is a physically impersonal technical gadget that is aesthetically relatively disturbing to have in your living space. 

The challenge: Informing the potential subscribers of NUBLU’s main benefits and making the smoke and carbon monoxide detector a human and friendly device that could be seen as a reliable and pleasant family member.

The central idea: In a friendly and humorous manner, showing situations with a limited possibility for taking action that only an intervention by NUBLY can save.


The spokesperson of the service is NUBLU, a firefighting dog created by the writer Jaan Rannap. The dog was brought to the modern-day world in order to introduce the topic of fire safety to consumers in a playful, friendly, and entertaining way. This transforms the boring technical gadget into a friendly and helpful lifesaver to whom you could entrust the safety of your home.


The aim was to raise awareness of the carbon monoxide problem and making NUBLU as a service more well-known. Four different mediums were used for this. The volume of TRP (Target rating point) was planned so that at least 50% of the target audience would see the explanatory message at least twice.

  • Television – Two different clips (one for house owners and the other for apartment owners), highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide and fires, as well as NUBLU’s ability to minimise those hazards.
  • Radio – Four different clips (for summer-house owners, workers, travellers, and diners). The media plan was designed for each clip according to the time/situation where the given concern might arise and the message is available. There were also radio games which were the first in Estonia to explain the real dangers of carbon monoxide in detail, as well as NUBLU as a solution to this problem.
  • Print media – Content marketing solutions that explored the dangers of carbon monoxide and NUBLU as the solution to that problem.
  • Online – Raising awareness through the upper level of the sales funnel and closing the deals through the lower level channels of the sales funnel (targeted channels and devices for closing, retargeting, etc.).


The follow-up activities of branding took place in malls and through door-to-door selling techniques in people’s homes. The awareness created with the help of mass media was turned into service subscriptions by the NUBLU product presenters.

NUBLU’s product presenters talk about fire safety with 10,000 people every month – they discuss how people can protect themselves from carbon monoxide, where to install the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, whether existing sensors are in working order, etc. For example, the Estonian Rescue Board provided over 20,000 home counselling sessions a year.     


  • Promoting success stories – Rescue stories where NUBLU reported a fire and G4S sent help. 
  • Debunking the myths surrounding carbon monoxide and
  • the installation of the sensors in the media (including communication with agencies, who were not immune to those myths either).
  • Cooperation with voluntary rescuers.
  • Involving influencers, who shared their experiences with using NUBLU.


When launching the service, the ambitious goal was to have 10,000 customers by the end of 2019. In reality, NUBLU had 15,000 customers by the end of 2019. Upon subscribing to the service, the customer is bound to a commitment for 12 months, but based on the lifecycle of the customers of the home surveillance service, it is expected that the average user will subscribe to the NUBLU service for at least seven years.


The confusion, mystery, and attention surrounding the name NUBLU at launching and the registration of the trademark.The myth concerning the installation of a carbon monoxide detector and the resulting confusion. Several cases where lives and property were saved, which were reported in the media. A fire in Tartu on 11 December 2019, which killed a whole family – three children and their parents. Cooperation with voluntary rescuers and the Estonian Voluntary Rescue Association, the reportage of this unique cooperation, and the role of voluntary rescuers in the community.

You can order Nublu smoke and carbon monoxide detector from