British Gas makes bid to be ‘first port of call’ for the connected home

British Gas teams up with sister brand Hive for the first time to launch a joint Christmas campaign that aims to convince the British public that smart energy devices are not just for the tech-savvy.

British Gas has teamed up with sister brand Hive for the first time to launch a joint Christmas campaign in a bid to establish itself as the “first port of call” for the connected home.

The ‘You’re Never Far from Home’ campaign, devised by creative agency CHI&Partners, launches across Facebook, YouTube and cinema from today (2 December) and will run until 22 December. It features the true story of the Moses family from Warlingham, Surrey, who are separated during the run up to the festive season.

The ad was inspired company research that showed 15.6 million families in the UK will be apart for the holidays. As a result, Hive and British Gas teamed up to help the Moses family turn on their Christmas lights together – despite the dad being in Norway for the big occasion. Using numerous Hive’s smart home products, the dad is able to share the family Christmas ‘switch on’ moment with his wife and son at home in Warlingham.

Hive’s global brand and marketing director Nicky Mackrell tells Marketing Week that the campaign aims to showcase its products in a “much more emotionally engaging way” but admits there is still a “huge job to do” to convince the British public that smart home energy products are no longer just for the tech-savvy.

“We need to bring to life the lifestyle benefits by showing the services we offer, rather than talk the language of technology and functional products, if we’re really going to inspire a more mainstream audience,” she says.

“Success is people seeing us as much more than a smart thermostat company. We want to be seen as the first port of call for the connected home and for people to see Hive as a brand for them, whether they’re early adopters or self-confessed technophobes.”

British Gas believes a focus on the connected home will also set it apart from competitors, reach new audiences and evolve its business and services.

“We’re much more than just an energy company, and our investment in technology and innovation is a big part of our customer-focused agenda for the future,” Miriam Jordan Keane, head of marketing at British Gas says.

“We now have the opportunity to talk the benefits of smart homes and businesses in a much more joined up way. And as awareness of the connected home grows, it makes sense for us to dial up our relationship in our marketing.”

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