Snap quiz time to test your trivia: What products go with these famous TV ad quotations?

(The answers are at end of this column.)

1. “He really likes it! Hey Mikey!”

2. “Where’s the beef?”

3. “Do you know me?”

4. “You got the right one baby, uh huh.”

5. “Come to where the flavor is.”

6. “You deserve a break today.”

7. “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking’”

8. “I’d like to teach the world to sing…”

9. “The dogs kids love to bite.”

10. “Alas, poor comfort, I knew it well.”

I recently was reading about the top 100 TV commercials, and after putting the book down, I realized that there were many more, not mentioned by the author, that struck a chord with me. I bet all of you have some favorites, too. You know the ones — with the jingles that are hard to get out of your head.

And then it struck me (“Wow, I could have had a V-8!”). Why doesn’t our trade have a national TV commercial that contains a catchy slogan? After all, aren’t our products more important than some of the products touted by classic commercials?


If you think about all of the various groups within our trade, it can boggle the mind. There are contractor groups, consolidated businesses, utility partnerships, distributor groups, manufacturers, et al. The collective might of our trade is substantial.

With all of that muscle, why not put our heads together and come up with an ad campaign that will knock the consumers’ socks off and put the hvacr trade in the ad trivia Hall of Fame?

I’m not talking about the individual, regional ads supported by co-op money. I’m talking about a single national ad that can draw on the financial strength of many groups, as well as their creative minds.

I know of many people, in each facet of the hvacr trade, who have brilliant, creative business minds and who could contribute immensely to the ad campaign. Call it a Blue Ribbon panel, if you will. These people could meet via a Web conference, e-mail, conference call, etc. to discuss the details.

They could provide a roadmap for what the ad should say and the expected results. Tie in a good marketing campaign and voila — a TV ad for the ages.

Such an ad campaign could go a long way in bridging the gap between misinformation (subpar work done by “sting” contractors) and the real truth (that most of the trade is honest, hard working, and provides products essential to everyday comfort — and to life itself).

Think of what one catchphrase could do for our trade. Consumers would be able to smile and reminisce when they hear that memorable slogan. And don’t be pessimistic — this wouldn’t be “just for show.” Recall results in dollars spent.

A lot of the big names in our trade do a very good job of name recognition advertising—“Noth-ing stops a Trane,” “The Rheem Team,” the Dave Lennox persona, etc. Why not ask all of them to join in on making one memorable ad — and run the ad in early spring and early fall, when consumers are thinking of replacing or upgrading their hvacr equipment?

Let me know what you think (“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”) I don’t mind being the point person and I certainly welcome your feedback. By the way, what was your favorite all-time TV ad?

Answers: 1. Life cereal; 2. Wendy’s; 3. American Express; 4. Diet Pepsi; 5. Marlboro; 6. McDonald’s; 7. Timex; 8. Coca-Cola; 9. Armour hot dogs; 10. A hypothetical ad for the hvacr trade.

Hall is business management editor. He can be reached at 734-542-6214; 734-542-6215 (fax); (e-mail).

Publication date: 12/3/2001