Indeed many of Ray’s clients HAVE been brought fame (both local and worldwide) and fortune. Below are the stories of just a few of them:
Jim Gilbert, Canada’s Huggable Car Dealer
The problem with ads for car dealers is that everyone in the entire category wants to use the same language and cliches. They’re like a bunch of dogs in a pen all sniffing each other’s butts – no leadership or differentiation.
And it’s not that car dealers don’t know that they do this, they just don’t have the balls to do something different.
So when I found a used car dealer with some balls, I suggested he break the mold and brand himself “The Huggable Car Dealer”
Now, to be clear, Jim Gilmore was that guy already. You can’t just brand a business owner as something they’re not, because at the end of the day, the business has to deliver on the promises made in the advertising.
My advantage was that Jim Gilmore and his were already very sincere and “Canadian Nice.” They just needed a Tentpole and a spotlight. The tentpole was “The Huggable Car Dealer,” and the spotlight began with a whole lot of radio airtime.
But the advertising extended well past the radio. We also started giving embroidered and branded Teddy Bears to all the kids who came into the dealership with their parents. And that little bit of sincere showmanship was a smash success. It quickly got to the point where we were giving away so many bears that we had purchase them by the container-load from China.
At any rate, by the 3rd or 4th month of our campaign, Jim Gilmore began having his best month ever, month after month. By one year in, we were routinely selling over 100 to 120 cars a month, whereas prior to becoming “The Huggable Car Dealer,” they were typically selling 30-40 cars a month.
The Bell Brothers
I met Jerry and Kenny Bell through Tim Gallagher. This was back in 2006 and prior to meeting me, Bell Brothers was doing $5 million and had been flat the previous year. Meanwhile, their buddy Tim Gallagher, who was operating in a smaller community, had gone from $3.8 million to $5.2 million in sales, so Kenny and Jerry decided to hire me.
In speaking with them, it hit me how much they came off as a couple of straight-shooting good ol’ boys. They even said to me that their secret for business was as simple as “Just do what you said you were going to do.” Now that’s just gold, right there. So their new tentpole became: “The No Surprise Guys.”
As for their spotlight, we initially launched with only $180K ad budget in Sacramento, which isn’t much of a budget in that size market, but they quickly saw the results after a few months (results that included being accosted by friends and strangers alike as “The No Suprise Guys”) and doubled down on their ad budget. By 2007, Bell Brothers was doing $7.2 million in sales. Next year was $9.6 Million. Following year was $16.1 Million, and then onto $22.3 Million.
So basically, my advertising helped quadruple their company and made them a household name in Sacramento.
As the name would imply, this client started out as a plumbing company owned by two brothers. Eventually, one brother took over sole ownership, had daughters, and the now-grown daughters were trying to grow the business. Unfortunately, those daughters had been stuck advertise themselves as “Brothers” plumbing. They were only doing endorsements on Denver Football. We blew that up, put them on radio and rebranded them “Sisters from Brothers Plumbing.” Solid
Prior to working with them, Brothers Plumbing was advertising via endorsements on Denver Football and getting marginal returns for their efforts. I ditched that, put them on radio and rebranded them “Sisters from Brothers Plumbing.” That was their authentic tentpole, and spotlight of radio made sure their act quickly became famous — and highly profitable.Solid
Over the last four years of their new campaign, Brothers Plumbing has experienced solid double-digit growth every year and the sisters have became local celebrities and household names.
Bakeris Roofing in Iowa hired me five years ago, and the first thing I noticed about the owner, [name], was his insistence on professional integrity from his staff. Sounds like that might be par for the course on any good business, but in the roofing industry, it’s more rare than you’d think, and [name] took it more seriously than most business owners in any industry.
So the tentpole I crafted for them was “Throw ‘Em Off The Roof.” Essentially, the ads explained how [name] hired only the best, and if he saw a technician not living up to his standards, he would throw ‘em off the roof. In Iowa. Paid money for IowaRoof.com
The other thing we did was to buy IowaRoof.com. Someone else had it, but we managed to buy it without too much hassle or expense, and it was worth every penny we paid for it. With that domain name, we never had to teach people to spell Bakeries on the air, and we never had to hope that Google would interpret prospect’s best guess at the spelling and direct them our way. Instead, they came direct to IowaRoof.com. Worked like a charm.
As a result of all this, Bakeries Roofing has seen double-digit growth every year for the last five years and has even expanded from radio to TV advertising.
Before Brian Leach hired me, his company was Leechman Service Legends. And while he was advertising on the radio, his ads sort of sounded like typical radio-station-written ads. Which was a shame because Brian is a natrual-born storyteller.
So I had Brian drop the “Leechman” from the name and become “Service Legends.” And their tentpole was “Home Comfort Heroes.” Now, to be honest with you, that’s not a tentpole I’d normally feel comfortable with, as it sounds a bit too self-aggrandizing and advertisishm, if that’s a word.
But here’s the thing about Brian Leech: he’s the real deal, in terms of a Midwest man’s man: he’s real active in his church, happy to talk about his faith in ads, and happy to put his money where his mouth was in terms of being a home comfort “hero.” He really did hire and train his guys to go out in the middle of blizzards and snow storms to ensure people had heat in their home. Heck, he trained them to do it because he did it himself. In a cold winter, a furnace repair could truly be an emergency, and the HVAC techs who could swoop in and save the day, really were heroes.
In a cold winter, a furnace repair could truly be an emergency, and the HVAC techs who could swoop in and save the day, really were heroes. So since the cape fit, we went with it. And we had Brian tell those kinds of stories in his ads on the radio. It worked magic.
The beautiful thing about the story with Brian and Service Legends isn’t just that we doubled the size of his company (we did). It’s that his annual sales relative to the size of his market (a fraction of Sacramento and Denver, for example) speaks volumes to the market dominance that we have achieved.