Terminix at the Apocalypse

NEW YORK If the world as we know it comes to an end, pests like cockroaches are expected to survive.

Not if Terminix has anything to say about it.

Publicis Mid-America’s first television commercial for the client is set in an apocalyptic world of ruined buildings and cockroaches.

“This work is different for Terminix and for the category. Strategically, we’re trying to get people to change how they deal with the category from reactively to proactively,” said Shon Rathbone, agency ecd.

The appropriately titled 30-second “End of the World” shows a city that looks like it has just endured a major battle as a voiceover intones: “Some say if the world came to an end, cockroaches would be the only ones to survive.” At the close of the spot, a white Terminix truck pulls up as the narrator concludes: “We beg to differ.”

“In the past, we’ve been about creating awareness. Now we are really talking to folks in a brand new innovative way and trying to tell them that it’s important to protect your home just like any other serious issues,” said Brad Cumings, CMO, Terminix.

The work breaks this week. In recent years, the client has spent $25 million-plus annually in measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

There will be a total of three 30-second spots, as well as radio and direct mail. Interactive is still being finalized.

“We had positioned ourselves as a we’re-there-when-you-need-us brand, which is relevant, but not differentiating. Putting ourselves out there this way required a new kind of campaign,” said Cumings.

Publicis added the account late last year following a review.