Having enlisted the creative services of Hazy Mills Productions the previous year to produce an intriguing and humorous television commercial campaign, Clark Pest Control in Lodi, Calif., decided this year that working with the production company for a new spring campaign was a no brainer. The commercial, starring Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch and Matty Cardarople of “Stranger Things” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” promoted the company’s NPMA GreenPro Certified services. Airing the new ad during the 2019 Masters Tournament via Nimmea Advertising in Los Angeles turned out to be a hole-in-one.
THE IDEA. “(Hazy Mills Productions) actually approached us with the idea that they might be able to bring Jane in,” says Nicole Keefe, vice president at Clark Pest Control. The company has produced award-winning and critically acclaimed entertainment such as “Hot in Cleveland” and “Hollywood Game Night.” Because Hazy Mills had effectively collaborated with Clark Pest Control in 2018, the production company “got to know us and see what we were looking for” in terms of marketing returns, says Keefe. As a result, the professionalism, budget, creativity and element of fun that the team at Hazy Mills utilized in working with Clark, “knocked our socks off,” explains Keefe. She said the commercial definitely captured the pest control company’s branding and key messaging.
THE FUNNY TAKE. In the 30-second commercial, Lynch and her sidekick “Walter,” played by Cardarople, act as fly-by-night pest control workers comically attempting to sell GreenPro services by simply dressing up Walter as a giant green man. Keefe said Clark was “thrilled” to have such talented, comedic actors involved with the project. “You just watch [Lynch] talk and you crack up,” she says, and Cardarople had great physical humor and screen presence. With additional footage captured on set, Keefe said the firm hopes to produce additional material next spring.
A SERIOUS MESSAGE. Part of the understanding with Hazy Mills was to portray Clark Pest Control’s core values of being an ethical and trustworthy company. Interestingly, Lynch researched Clark and asked some “tough questions” before signing on to the project to ensure “that we were an ethical business and that we really met the tenets we were conveying,” explains Keefe. She added that Clark Pest Control is known for focusing on green services and solutions with GreenPro-certified technicians in order to be mindful of the environment, while at the same time providing high-quality pest management services.
Even with the humorous perspective, the commercial was still able to “convey some of the reasons we think it is important to work with a professional pest control company,” says Keefe. At the end of the commercial, Lynch wittily narrates, “I guess if you want things done the right way…call Clark” rather than calling an unreliable or unknown company. Plus, the intent behind the funny ad was to make people crack a smile about a serious subject. “People have varying feelings about engaging pest control” whether it’s fear, embarrassment or disgust, says Keefe. The commercial definitely resonated with viewers, Keefe said. Brand searches for the company increased following the commercial being aired.
ON THE GREEN. The commercial aired in California during an optimal time, the 2019 Masters Tournament that Tiger Woods unexpectedly won. The event garnered record-high ratings. The time of the year — spring — also was ideal. “We wanted to be top of mind” for people who are planning to head back out into their gardens and are considering green services, explains Keefe.
Like Woods, the marketing campaign was a winner. Year-over-year brand searches increased 24.8 percent and local directory phone calls (Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.) increased 28 percent, Keefe said.