SBC, Blue Rhino Show the Joys of Swapping

NEW YORK Blue Rhino, a propane cylinder exchange service, is firing up its first national TV and radio campaign to build brand awareness and to try to convert avid gas grillers from “refillers” to “swappers.”

The effort, via SBC Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, will run April 7 through July, with emphasis on key grilling holidays such as Memorial Day, Father’s Day and July 4. Point-of-purhase and Internet support the broadcast push. Campaign spending was not given.

The campaign targets men who are avid gas grillers and propane consumers ages 25-54 with four or more people living in their house and an annual household income of $50,000-plus. According to Blue Rhino, a third of users exchange their empty tanks and two-thirds refill them.

“People who don’t use the service don’t understand how it works,” said Jeff Ward, client vice president of sales and marketing. “Once they try it, 80 percent don’t go back to refilling.”

The 30-second TV spot will play on cable networks such as the History Channel, TNT, TBS, the Weather Channel and Headline News. Radio will run on ESPN Sports Network.

Actor John Goodman is the voiceover in the TV spot, “Grilling Man,” and one of two 30-second radio spots, “Moment of Truth.” Brent Musberger provides the narration in the second radio spot, “Mountain.” The tag, “Drop, swap and go,” seeks to reinforce the convenience of exchanging the gas tank over refilling it.

The spot portrays the confidence that comes with knowing how to make the exchange. As a man approaches the cage where the tanks are stored, a voiceover states, “The Grilling Man fears his ancient nemesis no more. I refer not to the double-cut pork chop, the nuance of burger rotation, but to the empty propane tank. Fear not, Grilling Man, Blue Rhino is at your command.”