Calortex is to become the UK’s first domestic gas brand and a direct
challenger to British Gas in a major TV launch campaign through D’Arcy
Masius Benton and Bowles’ sales promotion arm, IMP.
Calortex, a collaboration between Texaco and Calor Gas, will promise ‘a
fresh approach to mains gas’ in a campaign to break on 19 February. It
features a dog called Oscar who lives in fear of ‘heavy’ gas bills until
Calortex comes along.
The TV commercial is narrated by David Jason of Only Fools and Horses
fame. It shows the lovable family pet waiting on the doormat, looking up
at the letterbox. The British Gas bills come in envelopes as heavy as
bricks and send Oscar running for cover.
In contrast, when his owners sign up to Calortex the bill is as light as
a feather. It floats about the air and Oscar has great fun chasing after
A second execution promotes Calortex’s service package.
The two ads were directed by IMP’s Peter Pullon, written by Andy
Blackford and Andy York and art directed by David Harris and Mark Lines.
IMP’s chief executive, Alan Thompson, commented: ‘The campaign is
designed to get the messages across in a direct way - that switching to
Calortex is cheaper, causes no disruption and offers an excellent
The Calortex service will launch in the Westcountry, and then roll out
across Britain by April 1998. The ads aim to recruit customers in time
for the official deregulation of gas supplies on 1 April this year, when
British Gas’s monopoly comes to an end.