Dirt Bedevils Homes in Stanley Steemer Ads

Young & Laramore’s first work for Stanley Steemer suggests that professional carpet cleaning should be a housekeeping ritual, not just a reaction to a major spill.

The Indianapolis shop’s national TV, print and radio campaign breaks today. The tagline “Living brings it in. We take it out” replaces the long-running “Tough on dirt, gentle on carpet.”

TV and print ads feature people pumping gas, walking in construction zones and running up and down school-bus aisles, eventually bringing home dirt that ends up in the carpet. One spot shows a child dragging his schoolbag through mud and water, then hauling it up his home’s carpeted stairs.

“Maybe having your carpet cleaned once a year isn’t enough,” a voiceover says.

The Dublin, Ohio, client wanted women, its main target, to view everyday wear as reason enough for a professional cleaning, said Tom Denari, shop evp, strategic marketing and client services. Conveying that in ads was the challenge for participants in a review that Y&L won in September, he said.

“The assignment for the pitch was how to increase frequency of carpet cleaning overall, as opposed to how to differentiate Stanley Steemer in the marketplace,” Denari said.

Previous work from Holcomb Gallagher Adams in Columbus, Ohio, positioned carpet cleaning as a service used for stains.

The company’s national competitors include ServiceMaster, Chem-Dry and Rainbow International. Stanley Steemer spent $20 million on ads through November 2002, according to CMR.