Tuneful Customer Propositions

Hive Banner

How often have you had a song from an advert you’ve seen on the TV or heard on the radio stuck in your head for weeks? Hive – a technology that allows you to control your home’s thermostat using an app – used a song for its product launch in 2014 and did just this to the nation. Variants of the tune still run on TV and radio campaigns to this day.


Here is the advert in full, complete with the song:

The angle jingle has arguably become more ubiquitous than the product it is trying to sell. A review of the technology from The Indepedent even makes reference to the advert:

For most of us, central heating just isn’t that much of a big deal. We turn it on when we’re cold and switch if off when we’re warm. But now companies are trying to convince us that what we really need is total control over our central heating.

If the annoying Hive adverts from British Gas are to believed, keeping our homes just the right temperature dominates our lives to such a degree that we need apps to keep tabs on it when we’re ‘making origami from a slice of beef pastrami’ as it suggests in the most cringing sing-a-long manner.

“Annoying” is one word that has commonly been used to describe the advert. However, taking a look at YouTube commentators’ opinions presents a humorously confrontational reaction towards the advert:

Hive Twitter 1

Hive Twitter 2

Hive Twitter 3

Hive Twitter 4

But consider this question – how hard is it to sell a new customer proposition to the market? In the case of a rather boring heating technology I would argue it’s pretty damn hard to resonate with anybody. Hive is the brainchild of British Gas, and the company clearly had the intention of launching this new product and service to the market as far away tonally from the British Gas brand as possible. The result is a silly, bright, whimsical advert that doesn’t just try to sell a boring product for what it is. The fact that the adverts persist in a similar format to this day is no coincidence.

Hedgehog Gutter Brush

The Hedgehog Gutter Brush is another form of proof that tuneful customers propositions are effective ways of selling certain products. This product is by no means in the same league as Hive, but a simple gutter brush has been pushed heavily on a select number of radio stations over the past few years. It goes to prove that the formula works for even the strangest of propositions. Check it out here:

Here’s another question to ask yourself – how else would you sell this product? Sure, you could go down the route of more conventional media channels to reach a targeted audience but this brand is clearly trying to achieve a degree of mass market appeal. An earworm jingle that communicates the customer proposition works whether listeners like it or not.

A brand that’s already cemented a place for itself in the market isn’t likely to resort to this option, simply because it doesn’t need to, but that doesn’t mean brands using this tuneful customer proposition approach should be scorned upon. If there’s one lesson to take from this, always remember:

If there’s clutter in your gutter,
Don’t be daft, don’t be a nutter,
Just be sure to get a Hedgehog Gutter Brush.


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