Stone & Ward Bows Terminix Ads

Stone & Ward takes a humorous tack in a campaign for Terminix under the supervision of new creative director Jay Cranford.

Four 30-second spots for the Memphis, Tenn., pest- control service begin rolling out on network television this week. The ads will air first in Orlando, Fla., and extend to 30 spot markets nationally. National cable will begin this spring

All of the ads present extreme but amusing solutions to homeowners’ insect problems. In one, a man builds a robot to seek and destroy the roaches infesting his house. Unfortunately, the gadget is only effective in destroying the kitchen and terrorizing a cat.

In another spot, a couple leads their in-laws through their new home, built completely of concrete in order to foil termites.

All four spots end with an invitation to call the client’s 800 number.

Pest control is “an extremely low-interest category,” according to the Little Rock, Ark., shop. Said agency president Millie Ward, “Terminix wanted a campaign that would entertain, make America smile and just make the phones ring.”

The commercials are the first to air under the creative direction of writer Jay Cranford, who joined the agency late last year from TBWA\Chiat\Day. Other credits go to art director Steve Sweitzer and producer Tommy Walker. Jeff Gorman of JGF in Los Angeles directed.

The campaign budget is estimated at $15-20 million.