During a period of extensive restructuring, and all the while facing international competition within the energy sector, TOTAL’s relationship with higher education posed two difficult challenges. Firstly, how to establish themselves as a major player on the global energy stage yet also how to position their brand as a leading employer amongst international students.


We created a digital strategy around the industry-focused, international online challenge, “Genius, Play the Energy Mix!” to offer students an authentic, interactive experience of the TOTAL brand.
“Genius, Play the Energy Mix!” encourages students to think about the different forms that the future of energy could take via online role-play as Energy Minister of an imaginary country – Geniusland. There, they must manage the mix of energy sources to the best of their ability whilst reacting to the changes and needs of civilians, environmental and economic events in a country whose energy is mainly sourced from fossil fuels.
The digital hub, Total Genius Campus, encourages healthy competition among participants whilst sharing gaming activity to reinforce TOTAL’s public image and political stance. We heightened TOTAL’s presence in the eyes of the student public with a targeted digital campaign and supporting initiatives on university campuses.


Our plan allowed us to attract the attention of the best universities across all continents, with visitor rate of 140,000 unique visitors in 4 months. The Facebook fan page community increased over two-fold, with the percentage of pro-active and engaged users reaching 10.3% (as opposed to 2.6% for BP’s Facebook page). Ultimately, we established a recruiting pool of 10,000 qualified students.