the energy company, the orangutan and the PR waffle

Utilities supplier Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) has recently launched a TV advert.

As usual we can look at the concept of the ad, and the background to actually making it (below).

And then the actual ad itself (below).

So what do you think?

Is it memorable? Possibly ('that ad with the orangutan').

But will you remember it as 'that ad with the orangutan by SSE' (quite important if it is to achieve anything in the form of ROI)? Absolutely not.

And from a brand perspective, what has an orangutan wandering the streets of a city, got to to do with SSE (in particular) selling you energy? You guessed it, nothing.

When questioned on their approach, a spokesperson for SSE came up with the following - which is about as far up the PR waffle tree as you can get;
"We want to find new and innovative ways to engage with our customers and in turn encourage them to engage with the energy they use; that’s what the ad is about, and most people agree that this is exactly what we should be doing as a responsible company. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback so far from customers, who understand the message the ad is communicating."
I don't know about you but 'engaging' with my utility company isn't high on my list of priorities after a day at work. If my gas and electric both come on at a flick of a switch, the tariff is competitive and they answer the phone/email back when I have a query - then there's not much engaging to be done to be honest.

The ad is exceptionally well produced and the CGI is out of this world but that's about it. It does nothing to set SSE apart from any other energy company out there, and is most definitely a case of too much style over too little substance.


  1. As usual we can look at the concept of the ad, and the background to actually making it (below). ultimate moving guide


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