H. H. Gregg "H. H." Commercials (partially lost advertisements; 2009-2011)
H. H. Gregg (stylized as "hhgregg") is an American then-retail chain, now-online store for home appliances and consumer electronics. From 2009 to 2011, the company used a mascot called HH (Also referred to as "h.h." or "hh") for its TV commercials, radio spots and other media. After H. H. Gregg's revival in 2017 from filing for bankruptcy previously the same year, HH was briefly used again on the company's social media and website, although no new commercials were made using him.
HH has the appearance of a rolled-up H. H. Gregg catalog with floating limbs similar in fashion to the video game character Rayman. The mascot was voice acted by Wally Wingert, who also played characters like Jon Arbuckle in The Garfield Show and Almighty Tallest Red in Invader Zim. The television commercials mostly featured HH goofing around either inside or outside an H. H. Gregg store, announcing what the retailer has to offer. A common format within the commercials includes HH parodying classic songs like The Twelve Days of Christmas. Another common format starts with HH checking out an item, before an H. H. Gregg employee steps in to boast about the item; all while HH listens in awe. These usually end with HH asking the employee: "...Am I supposed to know this stuff?", to which the employee answers: "No, we are, at H. H. Gregg!".
The character was largely forgotten about after its original run, until 2015, when the Christmas in July Sale 2010 commercial gained attention from meme communities. The commercial features HH standing outside an H. H. Gregg store, singing to the melody of Deck the Halls about a Panasonic Blu-Ray player for $99, a 32-inch LCD TV for $299, and an LG 42-inch HDTV for $489. HH then gets hit by a snowball, which he in response asks: "A snowball in July?", before finishing his song. The commercial became commonly used in music mash-ups, such as one with the Daft Punk song Doin' It Right called "doin", which garnered more than half a million views on YouTube. Since gaining meme status, commercials starring HH became fairly sought after.
HH's character was made by Zimmerman Advertising and Hinge Digital. H. H. Gregg tasked Zimmerman to "center a campaign around a new spokes-character, to increase the aided and unaided awareness measures". After Zimmerman drew the initial 2D HH designs, they were handed over to Hinge, who refined the character and created an animation test showing HH interacting in a live-action store environment. The HH campaign was then greenlit by H. H. Gregg.
The 2015-2017 H. H. Gregg website claimed HH debuted in early 2009. However, this appears to be inaccurate. The mascot was actually first announced on H. H. Gregg's blog in July 28th, 2009, stating that HH would be introduced "Wednesday afternoon" (the 29th). A Facebook account for the mascot called "h.h. Sales Guide" was also created on the 27th. The account would post in-character messages, occasionally sending a YouTube video link for the latest commercials (however, the videos themselves are long since deleted). On the 29th, the first HH commercial was posted, called the "20% Off Sale Commercial". Sometime during 2010, the Facebook account would start posting more professional messages, and the account name was changed to simply "hhgregg".
HH's retirement can be linked to H. H. Gregg starting up another advertising campaign called "We Help". The campaign started around mid-May 2011. HH was slowly phased out of the website during this time period and the YouTube account was also wiped. No official statement on HH's retirement has been made by the company.
The last TV commercial to be caught on internet archives before the "We Help" campaign is the "33-Hour Sale" commercial for April 21-23th 2011. This is assumed to be the final commercial starring HH.
Interviews of Hinge and Zimmerman Advertising state that "over 34 spots" were created starring HH. A newer interview from June 2011 says another production company, Blackbird VFX (named iGlooVFX at the time), created 5 additional commercials using HH during 2010, all already uploaded.
One of the identified lost ads is for an "after Thanksgiving sale", in which HH connects an extension cord (which he manages to electrocute himself with) to power on a screen that reads out "hhgregg appliances & electronics - AFTER THANKSGIVING SALE". A clip of this survives by a disgruntled viewer, who uploaded the commercial with an edit that loops the electrocuting bit through the whole 30 seconds runtime.
HH also reportedly starred in radio spots. A user at CommercialsIHate.com claims to have heard a radio version of the "Red Tag Sale 2009" commercial "about 12 times in the last 2 days". It is unknown how many of these were made.
As of August 6th, 2019, 18 out of the alleged 34+ TV commercials starring HH have been found. 2 other incomplete ones have been also found. A handful of names of lost commercials have been identified by searching through H. H. Gregg's Facebook page and archived blog, tallying up to 36 commercials.
|Name||Status||Proof of Existence/Notes|
|12 Deals of Xmas||Found|
|20% Off Sale #1/"On the Same Page"||Found||Facebook post for the ad.|
|20% Off Sale #2||Lost||Facebook post for the ad. The post implies HH says nothing more than "20% off" while wearing a hat.|
|20% Off Sale #3/"I'm Stuffed"||Found||Facebook post for the ad.|
|20% Off Sale #4||Lost||Archived blog page with the post "July 20% Off Sale".|
|33-Hour Sale April 21-23th 2011||Lost||Blog post about the ad. Might be HH's last appearance.|
|4th of July Sale 2010||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|After Thanksgiving Sale 2010||Partially Found||Edited by the uploader to loop a 1-second clip. Uploader claims to have ripped the commercial off the old website, but has not uploaded the full version when asked.|
|Christmas in July Sale 2010||Found|
|Coupon Mania 2009||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|Employee Discount||Found||Created by iGlooVFX.|
|Frigidaire Affinity Washers & Dryers||Found||Blog post for the ad. Bad quality.|
|Frigidaire Washers & Dryers||Lost||Archived blog page with the post "hhgregg Frigidaire Washers and Dryers". Might be a duplicate of "Frigidaire Affinity Washers & Dryers", but it's unlikely, considering how they're two seperate blog posts.|
|Giant Clearance Sale 2011||Lost||Blog post for the ad.|
|Private Sale June 17-19th 2010||Found||Created by iGlooVFX. Possible Facebook post for the ad.|
|Private Sale November 5-7th 2009||Lost||Archived blog page with the post "Shhhhh! Don't share this with ANYONE!"|
|Markdown Madness Sale August 1-7th 2010||Lost||Archived blog page with the post "hhgregg Mark it Down Storwide(sic) Savings".|
|Markdown Madness Sale March 20-26th 2011||Partially Lost||Facebook post for the ad. Low quality recording from a camcorder. ~1 second missing from the beginning.|
|Markdown Madness Sale March 21-27th 2010||Found||Facebook post for the ad. The "Markdown Madness" series is also referred to as "Mark it Down".|
|Markdown Madness Sale June 20-26th 2010||Lost||Facebook post for the ad. Probably a variant of the original.|
|Memorial Day Sale 2010||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|New 125th Store||Found||Created by iGlooVFX.|
|New Whirlpool Washer & Dryer||Found||Created by iGlooVFX.|
|New Year's Event\"Confetti Fantasy"||Found||Blog post for the ad.|
|Panasonic "Larger Than Life" HDTVs||Found||Bad quality.|
|Panasonic Viera 3D TV||Found|
|Presidents' Day 2010 Sale||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|Red Tag Sale 2009||Found|
|Samsung Four Seasons of Hope Foundation Commercial||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|Samsung LED TV HyperReal/"Play Call"||Found|
|Serta Mattresses||Found||Created by iGlooVFX.|
|Sharp Quattron LED TV||Found|
|Super Sale XLIV||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|Tent Sale 2010||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|Whirlpool Cabrio Mark It Down||Lost||Facebook post for the ad.|
|Whirlpool Side-by-Side XXL Refridgerator||Found|
- The Wikipedia page on H. H. Gregg. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- Wally Wingert's page on all his voice-overs. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- Liaison PR News Room's article about Zimmerman's & Hinge's creation of HH. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- Hinge's page on the HH campaign. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- H. H. Gregg's old "History" page. Archived 02 May '17
- H. H. Gregg's "You've Never Met a Sales Guide Like hh" blog article. Archived 06 Aug '09
- HH's first Facebook post. Retrieved 06 Aug '09
- H. H. Gregg's blog article about their commercials on YouTube. Archived 25 Mar '10
- HH's Facebook post about his first commercial. Retrieved 06 Aug '09
- H. H. Gregg's Facebook post with behind-the-scenes photos of the "We Help" commercials. Retrieved 04 Aug '19
- The New York Times article about the "We Help" campaign. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- One of the commercials used for the "We Help" campaign. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- H. H. Gregg's Facebook post about their new website. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- H. H. Gregg's YouTube, around the time HH first appeared. Archived 08 Aug '09
- H. H. Gregg's YouTube, after "We Help" was launched. Archived 21 May '11
- blog.hhgregg.com: "hhgregg 33-Hour Sale". Archived 01 May '11
- Hinge's blog article further explaining HH's creation and success. Retrieved 06 Aug '19
- BlackbirdVFX's page about their HH commercials. Archived 12 Jan '18
- CommercialsIHate.com thread about the HH commercials. Retrieved 06 Aug '19