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Cleaning Mailers Tout Prospects as Heroes

ServiceMaster Clean wants to mop up the market for disaster restoration, janitorial and commercial cleaning services with a $3 million prospecting offensive through year's-end to insurance agents, adjusters and facilities managers.

The customer acquisition effort uses posters with comic book and B-movie themes that humorously portray recipients as heroes saving the day for their customers.

“We put agents and adjusters into this role as a hero because while the homeowner ultimately makes the decision of the disaster restoration company, it is usually influenced by the agent or adjuster,” said Laurel Pyron, account services director at archer>malmo Inc., the Memphis, TN-based agency on the account. “The agent can become a hero to the homeowner, and that's what we played up.”

ServiceMaster Clean, Downers Grove, IL, competes with regional and national franchises including Stanley Steamer, Steamatic and Janiking. It has 2,000 franchises nationwide.

Posters dropped July 12 to 156,000 facilities managers and July 18 to a similar number of agents and adjusters.

In the poster to facilities managers, called “Improbable Fantasy,” a simulated comic book cover shows a manager at his desk, dreaming that he is crowned and held aloft in his chair. One of the cheering masses says, “Hail, king of the facilities managers!” Another says, “Our company would fall apart without you!”

The tag line is “ServiceMaster Clean is a dream to work with! Find out more at www.svmjanitorial.com or check your Yellow Pages for the closest ServiceMaster Clean.”

“We want to find humor in their day and let them see that ServiceMaster Clean really does understand what their day-to-day life is,” Pyron said.

Agents and adjusters get their moment in the sun, too. One poster shows an agent rescuing a woman from a house whose fire is being extinguished by firefighters. A ServiceMaster Clean van is in the foreground.

The copy for that poster boasts a typical movie introduction: “ServiceMaster Clean presents Disaster Restoration in 'Flames of Fear.'” Other blurbs are equally dramatic: “From the ashes heroes arise!” “A ServiceMaster Clean Adventure!”

Interested parties are asked to visit www.800respond.com, check the Yellow Pages or call 1-800-RESPOND.

“B-movies play a little bit on the whole tragedy side of disasters,” Pyron said. “It played to that whole theme a bit whereas the comic book cover could play more to the nuances of the day-to-day life of a facilities manager.”

Archer>malmo created seven posters for facilities managers and five for agents and adjusters. Self-mailers with an offer for other posters will drop six times through December to facilities managers and four times through November for agents and adjusters.

“It's a lead generation campaign,” Pyron said. “Part of the business reply card is obviously to get these people to request a poster, but also to request them to allow [ServiceMaster Clean executives] to come in and do an estimate for their janitorial services.

“What we really tried to do with this campaign is not talk about ServiceMaster Clean so much as talk about the audience for a change.”

ServiceMaster typically is not a big user of direct mail, relying on broadcast advertisements. But this time it wanted to create a direct relationship with its prospects. It tapped trade and house lists and names from a database of D&B, formerly Dun & Bradstreet.

“Certainly top-of-mind awareness was key,” Pyron said. “We wanted to have something that was out there, that would have frequency. We also wanted to get away from the traditional white mailers where we're just putting a letter out to these people. We wanted something that was unique and collectible and something also that maybe had a little bit more shelf life.”

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