Gas companies have launched an unusually effective stealth campaign of direct-to-consumer marketing to capture the loyalty and imaginations of the public. Surveys have found that most people would just as soon switch their water heaters and furnaces from gas to electric versions. So, gas companies have found a different appliance to focus on: gas stoves. Thanks in large part to gas company advertising, gas stoves—like granite countertops, farm sinks, and stainless-steel refrigerators—have become a coveted kitchen symbol of wealth, discernment, and status, not to mention a selling point for builders and realtors.
Until now, the stove strategy has been remarkably successful. But as electrification initiatives gain momentum, gas companies’ job is getting harder. Now that the industry is getting desperate, parts of its public relations infrastructure have begun cooling on this once-hot client.
Story length: 3,668 words
Read the full story here (Includes 4:05 min VIDEO clip of 1988 ad, “Cookin’ with Gas”, and PDF copies of emails from gas industry executives planning their crisis communication)