H. H. Gregg "H. H." Commercials (partially lost advertisements; 2009-2011)

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HhgreggAfterThanksgivingSale.png

A screenshot from one of the incomplete ads.

Status: Partially Lost

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.") 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 catalogue 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.[1] 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!".

Two renders of HH.

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.

History

HH's character was made by Zimmerman Advertising and Hinge Digital.[2][3] 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.

H. H. Gregg's old blog post about the mascot's introduction.

The 2015-2017 H. H. Gregg website claimed that HH debuted in early 2009.[4] However, this appears to be inaccurate. The mascot was actually first announced on H. H. Gregg's blog on July 28th, 2009, stating that HH would be introduced "Wednesday afternoon" (the 29th).[5] 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).[6][7] On the 29th, the first HH commercial was posted, called the "20% Off Sale Commercial".[8] 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".[9][10][11] 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.[12][13][14] 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 21-23rd, 2011.[15] This is assumed to be the final commercial starring HH.

Availability

Interviews of Hinge and Zimmerman Advertising state that "over 34 spots" were created starring HH.[16] 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.[17]

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".[18] 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 21-23rd 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

Gallery

TV banner ad for H. H. Gregg's "Red Tag Sale" which uses HH.

External Link

References