KeySpan Heats Up During Cold Snap

NEW YORK A new KeySpan Energy television campaign takes dead aim at an unyielding rival: Old Man Winter. Two spots for the natural gas company began airing in the midst of a bitter cold stretch in late January, prime time for homeowners who have heating in mind.

In Cossette Post’s “Barb and the Kids,” a man comes home to find his neighbor shivering outside his house dressed in just pajamas and a bathrobe. The neighbor explains between chattering teeth that his oil burner is broken, and he is waiting for the repairman. Just as the neighbor confirms that KeySpan heats the neighboring home, his family bolts out the front door and into the house next door.

“We wanted to make our proposition a situation that people would find fun in but that would also be recognizable,” said Steven Crane, president and chief creative director of the New York shop. “Those are times we need to point to. These are all situations people said they’ve experienced themselves.”

The shop produced both commercials within weeks of winning the KeySpan account in late December, said Crane.

With the winter-conversion campaign behind them, Crane said the shop can move on to pursuing the strategy in its winning pitch: natural gas as a “lifestyle upgrade.”

The second ad begins to address that selling point, said Crane. In “Log Guy,” a man gloats over his gas-powered fireplace while his friend digs through the snow in search of logs.

The spots are airing in New England and Long Island, N.Y., markets.

Production credits go to writer Kim Samskin and creative director Keith Druckenmiller.