Clockwork Home Services executives
Clockwork Home Services executives Chris Buitron, vice president of marketing; Scott Boose, president; and Rebecca Cassel, group president, consumer services; listen in as winning agency FKM delivers their pitch.

Clockwork Home Services, a Sarasota, Fla.-based franchising company, recently secured an advertising campaign through the AMC television network’s reality series, “The Pitch.” According to AMC, this new series offers viewers an intense glimpse inside America’s top ad agencies. In each episode, two agencies compete to win a new client’s contract. Producers of the AMC show encountered Clockwork Home Services while recruiting potential companies to showcase on the program. Once they acquainted themselves with Clockwork’s brand and growing appeal, they knew the franchiser was a perfect fit.
Clockwork’s franchise brands include One-Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®; Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, the Punctual Plumber®; and Mister Sparky®.

“Clockwork has a very unique and challenging ad brief that the producers knew would make great television,” said Aaron Saidman, vice president, development and current programming, Studio Lambert. “Once we learned the show’s conceit and how they would approach the filmmaking, we knew we had to do it. It was too rare an opportunity to pass up.”

While reality television poses its own high-risk, high-reward potentials, Clockwork executives felt it was a gamble they needed to take.

“We have three relatively young brands that are starting to penetrate the marketplace at a level where a national campaign will resonate with potential customers,” said Chris Buitron, vice president of marketing, Clockwork Home Services. “Being part of the show was a fun and exciting way to potentially find the right idea that could help us launch a national campaign with the added benefit of having our brands appear on an up-and-coming national television program.”

Through the process, Clockwork leaders specifically requested that the agencies retain all three brands in their campaign — a feat they knew would be difficult to achieve.

“Each industry has its intricacies. For instance, while safety is a huge concern for homeowners when it comes to electrical, seasonality plays a bigger role in the demand for HVAC and plumbing service,” said Buitron. “What’s also difficult is creating something that remains on top of people’s minds. We want our franchisees to be the ones they call when they have an emergency, as well as when they simply want to upgrade a faucet, light fixture, or filter.”

Here Comes ‘The Pitch’

Two advertising firms, FKM (Houston) and The Hive (Toronto) accepted the challenge of developing an advertising campaign for Clockwork Home Services that would efficiently highlight the franchiser’s three brands in an effective and creative way.

Television crews sat in on each firm’s brainstorming sessions and documented the creative process. A week later, each team pitched their ideas to Clockwork executives, in hopes of securing a national marketing contract with the North American home service provider.

Following a comprehensive review, the Clockwork team awarded the advertising contract to FKM for their “+Help” theme.

With the insight that most home service calls are reactionary, made in a time of stress surrounding an issue in the home, the FKM team produced and pitched three campaign ideas that demonstrated how Clockwork brands can help consumers get back to normal quickly.

“FKM did a great job creating a campaign that communicates what our brands are all about — helping the customer in their time of need,” said Rebecca Cassel, president of consumer services, Clockwork Home Services. “The ‘+Help’ campaign is a fresh, new concept that will work seamlessly across all three of our brands, providing us with a national approach unlike anything we have ever done before.”

Clockwork Home Services quickly took a liking to the idea and officially launched the integrated television, digital, and print +Help campaign on May 15.

“Showcasing a point of intersection between the three brands in one ad campaign was a big challenge. Our teams produced a number of great ideas to help the brands move beyond the ‘grudge purchase,’ but ultimately, ‘+Help’ is the best,” said Scott Brown, chief creative officer, FKM. “The platform markets all brands equally and gives consumers a fun and smart reason to call.”

Buitron said he appreciated the work of both The Hive and FKM, and said the decision was very difficult to make. “It was clear that both agencies put a lot of thought and energy into their ideas and presentations. The margin was very slim,” he said. “After some tweaks, to make the campaign something our operations could make work, we think we have come out of the process with something that has never been done in our business and will leave a strong impression on homeowners.”

FKM representatives were excited to win the contract, but admit the real work has just begun.

“This is a meaningful win for FKM, especially given the transformation we’ve experienced in the past year, restructuring the agency in the months leading up to the taping of our episode,” said Jose Lozano, CEO, FKM. “But we’ll celebrate in a big way when the ‘+Help’ campaign starts making the phone ring for Benjamin Franklin, Mister Sparky, and One Hour.”

“The Pitch” airs at 11 p.m. EDT every Sunday on AMC. For more information, visit

Sidebar: The Clockwork Brands

Clockwork Home Services was purchased by Direct Energy (Toronto) in 2011 and currently employs approximately 2,000 franchise employees and 1,500 retail employees. The company is approaching $570 million in combined branded revenues.

Clockwork experienced a 10 percent average growth in 2011. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, the Punctual Plumber® experienced 13 percent growth; Mister Sparky®, 20 percent; and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®, 7 percent, in 2011. Clockwork’s brands answer approximately 12,000 calls each day, deploying 4,000 trucks to serve more than three million customers annually.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing started franchising in 2001. The full-service residential plumbing company currently operates 260 locations and ranks 130 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500.

Mister Sparky is a full-service residential electrical company specializing in everything from whole-house rewires to landscape lighting. The brand started franchising in 2006 and currently operates 93 locations in 34 U.S. states. The brand ranks 243 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500.

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning serves as a full-service residential HVAC company, repairing and replacing most HVAC components. The brand started franchising in 2004 and currently ranks 117 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list.

For more information, visit

Publication date: 6/18/2012