British Gas revamps Planet Home strategy as Spall is dropped

British Gas is running a television campaign that refreshes its long-running 'Planet Home' creative idea and pushes the way customers can manage their accounts online.

The campaign, created by CHI & Partners, introduces a new 3D animated style and now has a female narrator, TV actress Angela Griffin, as the brand seeks to make itself less masculine.

Chris Brocklehurst, head of advertising at British Gas, said the energy firm decided to drop Timothy Spall in favour of a female narrator, because most of its engineers were men, meaning British Gas has a very masculine image.

The animated style will also allow the characters in the ads to talk in future executions, according to Brocklehurst.

Creative pushes the ways customers can use online services to manage the account by stating, "From checking your balance to submitting metre readings, managing your energy online is super simple with British Gas."

The brand's mobile app also features in the spot and represents the first time British Gas has advertised its app in broadcast media, as the company seeks to demonstrate it is using technology to make things simpler.

Last week, British Gas confirmed it was planning to close a call centre in Southampton with the loss of 550 jobs.

Brocklehurst denied this had put extra pressure on the ad being a success in order to migrate people to online, and instead said the campaign was about "giving customers more choice" by allowing them to use call centres or online services.

The campaign will run for six weeks and will be supported by press advertising.

Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanUK