Gas Hub Case Study

Gas Hot Water promotional campaign

The Gas Hub is a division of Powerco, and was created as an advocacy organisation to provide unbiased information and educate the public on the benefits of natural gas, so they can make informed decisions about energy choices for their home. The Gas Hub believes that using natural gas directly in our homes makes good sense, it's affordable, creates warm healthy homes and makes the most of New Zealand's energy supply.

Over the course of one year MSO provided creative and production services to launch The Gas Hub Hot Water campaign directed at various levels of residential gas users.

Target Audience

Homeowners who were high users of gas who are now disconnected.

Hot water is the cornerstone offer for the campaign and the DM concepts follow a pathway leading to this. We created interesting DM pieces in terms of colour, size, shape that are very obviously related to each other, to work in synergy with the written content to create a tease through the first two pieces until  The Gas Hub brand is revealed in the final sales letter. 

Piece 1:  Was a Jaffa-sized self-locking box styled in the language of confectionary packaging, revealing a two-staged message empathetic to receiving huge energy bills ie: "Have you ever felt like a fish out of water when you receive a HUGE energy bill?" Inside the box is a large chocolate fish.

Piece 2:  In a similar style protests "Your home was the one that got away!" with supporting imagery of a goldfish walking away from his fish bowl carrying a knapsack. Inside the reward is a goldfish soap on a rope accompanying the message "We're going to give you the best hook-up at <their address>, you've ever been offered."

Piece 3:  Follows up with a sales letter revealing the actual offer of a free Instantaneous gas water heater as an incentive to reconnect, and drives the receiver to The Gas Hub website/hot water campaign section where they can register online and claim the instantaneous hot water unit, find out more or supply feedback. MSO also designed and supplied the campaign online graphics for the site template.

Piece 4:  Is a follow-up post card to those who didn't take up the offer, offering a further incentive (chance to win a grocery voucher) to give their reason why they didn't take up the offer and a chance to extend the offer.

Client's issues and objectives for the advertising campaign

The overall objective of the campaign was to inform and drive homeowners to use gas hot water heating in their homes, and thereby reap the benefits such as energy bill savings (primarily), the luxury of instant, unlimited hot water, and that their energy choice is good for the planet.

The campaign had to be split over four user audiences within the Powerco database, based on their current type of energy usage, ranging from homes not connected to gas - to previous gas users, who have disconnected - to homes with gas heating and cooking, but not water heating. As such, each campaign needed to have specific communication tactics tailored to motivate each of these audiences.

As nearly all of the campaigns were predominantly based around Direct Mail, there was the added issue of targetting investment property owners via their tenants who receive the DM. Here the visual communication incorporated an obvious visual rewards-based cue for the tenant to pass the information on to the property owner.

MSO's role and responsibilities

MSO undertook the following roles and responsibilities:

•    Account Mananagement
•    Taking direction and briefing from client's Marketing Manager
•    Advising and collaborating with Marketing Manager
•    Researching packaging methodologies
•    Project planning and timeline management
•    Design (Concept, development, art production and finished design)
•    File preparation and supply for production/File optimisation for web
•    Project liaison with client and suppliers
•    Copywriting support

Outcome of the advertising campaign

Response rates to promo and chaser survey reached 12.7% in the highest sub-segment in one region.

Because of the ‘feel good' nature of the design of the campaign material, the quality of survey responses we got was frequently more insightful than expected. People took the time to supply quality information about their reasons for not taking up the offer, from this we were able to categorise leads to migrate into a ‘maintenance' program through which we stay connected with warm leads.

Campaign conversion rates were only slightly beneath the ambitious targets that were set. However, ‘hands down' most successful campaign ever produced by Powerco/TGH - and leads still in the system are gradually being converted (as their existing water heating solutions expire).
Resonated with consumers - even got thank you letters from two prospects who were recipients of campaign.

Order of success out of primary campaigns: Infinity and Beyond, then Hook up - (people loved the nostalgia of chocolate fish) then The Key.

     The Gas Hub Hot Water Campaign