The Richard’s Group has flipped the ordinary pest control commercial concept – bug legs up – from a fear factor angle to one of peace-of-mind. In the past, Orkin‘s pest control commercials have included people-sized rats who made themselves at home, or similarly sized roaches joining a couple for a dip in the hot tub or a woman on a blind date. All very funny. But the new Orkin campaign presents simple scenarios to depict what is NOT there, namely the pests.
“Home Is Where the Bugs Aren’t” features ordinary scenarios of a man eating cereal, people at a party, a man sleeping and a new mother rocking her baby to sleep. In these scenes, simple type points to the fact there is no rodent excrement, termite fecal pellets, spiders ovulating, or cockroach hatchlings. And that’s a comforting thought.
We caught up with David Morring, Richards Group Creative Director, Dustin Ballard, Richards Group Copywriter and Kent Bishop, Southern Sky Film’s Managing Director, to find out a little more.
AdChat DFW: This new Orkin campaign seems to take the opposite approach of many pest control spots that Orkin has done, how did you come up with the concept.
David Morring: We felt like, there’s obviously been a lot of ideas where you show the problem, you show the bugs, and then show people’s reaction to those types of things. The beauty of this idea, its epiphany, is that what we are really showing is nothing. We are selling the absence pests and bugs. Dustin Ballard, the copywriter on the spot and art director Ryan Bates hit on that idea and came up with the line “Home is Where the Bugs Aren’t.” It captures that idea in an easy and memorable way. It hooks your mind.”
AdChat DFW: How long has TRG had the Orkin account?
David Morring: Twelve years, and I’ve worked on it since the inception. We have a long standing relationship there, which is great.
AdChat DFW: Back in 2012 TRG produced the spots where the termites, roaches and rats were huge, scary and talked like humans, which is seemingly the opposite of this recent campaign.
David Morring: The idea back then was that people react to these tiny little pests as if they’re this huge intimidating intruder type thing. The pest is small, but they jump on a chair. In this recent campaign we thought the idea of real quiet and nothing happening, was a nice way to get attention in an advertising world where everybody’s screaming and being loud and yelling for your attention.
AdChat DFW: Dustin, what sparked this idea?
Dustin Ballard: First we stepped back and we asked ourselves the question, what does Orkin actually do? What does it provide customers? And the answer we came up is it provides the absence of pests. This was a different way of thinking about it and put us in a very different creative space. It was the opposite of what most pest control companies do in their advertising.
AdChat DFW: Did you shoot locally?
Dustin Ballard: We decided to go with Southern Sky Films. They were such simple spots, we didn’t need to go to L.A. which we would typically do for an Orkin production. We liked their work, and our producer David Rucker had worked with them and it worked out really well.
AdChat DFW: Kent, what was it like shooting this concept of nothing happening?
Kent Bishop: When we originally saw the creative, we thought this should be pretty straight forward. We’re just shooting a basic scene of someone on the front porch or someone in a rocking chair and the supers are going to come up and that’ll be that.
But, we found it’s actually a lot harder than you would think to basically get actors not act, getting directors to not want to get in there and over direct. Cameron Gott, our director did a great job of that. He had to turn off the traditional ways you approach directing a spot to get that peaceful tranquility and a natural organic feel.
Agency: The Richards Group
Creative Directors: David Morring/Tim Tone
Art Director: Ryan Bates
Copywriter: Dustin Ballard
First Air Date: March 18, 2019
Producer: David Rucker
Production Company: Southern Sky Films
Executive Producer: Ray Coutin/Zach Bush/Kent Bishop
Director: Cameron Gott
Clients: Kevin Smith, Cam Glover
Brand Management: Pete Lempert, Jessica Walker, Kristin Trumble
Post production: Treehouse Editorial
Executive Producer: Jeremy Besser
Producer: Kathy Whitback
Editor: John McStravick
Visual Artist: Bryan Bayley
Audio Engineer: Eric Jenkins