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Archer>Malmo Makes Heroes of Client's Customers

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Archer>Malmo's new campaign for ServiceMaster Clean employs comic book and B-movie imagery to pitch janitorial and disaster restoration services.

The Memphis, Tenn., shop's direct-mail effort is designed to jolt insurance adjusters and facilities managers away from the quality-of-service approach typically used to target their industries.

"Rather than chest-beat about how great the service is, we decided to focus on who the audience is," said Archer>Malmo creative director Gary Backaus. "It's not often, for example, that insurance professionals have opportunities to be depicted as heroes."

"The Mark of the Smoke Demon," a poster scheduled to kick off the campaign, does exactly that, using images (a frantic housewife, complete with painted nails and décolletage, threatened by a one-eyed monster) and copy that could have been lifted from a Roger Corman movie. The woman is rescued by a ServiceMaster heroine straight out of the Women's Army Corps.

A first run of posters will be followed by direct-mail reproductions, which, in-turn, will contain mail-in offers for other full-size glossy pieces.

"We want clients to hang them up or take them home," Backaus said. "It's a great way to start adialogue."

Stan Lee's Marvel Comics might have been the inspiration for "Shocking Secrets of Facilities Managers," an ad targeting office supervisors and other decision makers in charge of janitorial services. The "shocking secret" is revealed as an office administrator at the controls of a 1950s-vintage "Clone-O-Matic machine churning out dozens of janitors and plumbers."

"We did research that suggested that facilities managers are overworked and underappreciated," said Backaus.

Backus served as cd and art director. Rikki Boyce handled copywriting; LeeAnne Christopherson designed the work.

Archer>Malmo markets other Memphis-based ServiceMaster brands including Merry Maids, American Home Shield, ARS/Rescue Rooter, Terminex and Furniture Medic.