Mike Tyson threw some of the most devastating punches in boxing history. He knocked out Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, and Larry Holmes. He has been one of the most recognizable faces on the planet for decades and is now celebrated for his turns in “The Hangover” film series. So, imagine the surprise when the following image flashes across the television screen: Mike Tyson in a contractor’s uniform, singing a jingle, and advertising for an HVAC and plumbing company.
That’s the exact scene some East Coast viewers saw during Super Bowl 50. It was a regional commercial, not nearly on the scale of the national ones created by companies like Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Frito-Lay, and others, but its impact may have been even more pronounced (and was certainly more entertaining than the actual game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers).
It’s the ad that first springs to mind for many when recalling the most memorable spots from the broadcast. Sure, a dancing Puppymonkeybaby sticks in your head, as does a wiener dog in an actual hot dog costume. But I, along with thousands of other Americans, now know that the slogan “If you can’t, we can … Michael & Son!” belongs to Washington, District of Columbia, area Plumbing, Electrical, Heating, and Air Conditioning company, Michael & Son Services.
It’s a jingle many won’t soon forget either, as it’s legitimately catchy, and the image of a smiling Mike Tyson donning the uniform and a pair of boxing gloves is hard to move on from.
“Even though we do these local ads, we do it with the concept that we’re trying to get press and buzz outside of these areas,” said Basim Mansour, president, Michael & Son, per the Baltimore Sun.
Mansour’s statement may provide a lesson all contractors should take to heart: Are you aiming to get positive press and buzz outside of a local area?
Is everyone going to love the content of this Mike Tyson commercial? Probably not. The comments to the video on YouTube range wildly, from “In a sea of pretentious, try-hard, and unfunny ads tonight, this beats them all,” to “Living Legend. Can’t wait to get to meet you one day Mike! You’re the greatest!”
Regardless of people’s sentiment towards the video, within 24 hours it had more than 50,000 views. (It now has been seen more than 171,000.)
Creating a regional Super Bowl ad obviously isn’t feasible for every HVAC contractor, but going outside of the expected box and creating content that can be enjoyed by a large number of people can only help increase brand recognition.
Maybe that means posting a How-to video on YouTube that showcases the skills of one of your technicians while educating potential customers. Perhaps it’s a video detailing “A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician” that demonstrates the process your techs go through and the professionalism with which they perform their jobs.
Whatever the content may be, get creative with it. Make yourself visible. You never know when something will go viral and start a national conversation.
But, if possible, always try to include Mike Tyson.
Publication date: 2/29/2016