Jiffy Lube Tags After Guthrie

By Nora FitzGerald

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Richardson, Myers & Donofrio has been awarded the Jiffy Lube Baltimore Co-op advertising business, which had formerly been at Gray, Kirk Vansant in Baltimore.

Sources pegged the annual advertising budget at more than $1 million.

The automotive service business followed Richardson, Myers & Donofrio senior vice president Beth Guthrie from Gray, Kirk Vansant, she acknowledged. Guthrie joined the staff of Baltimore-based RM&D last December.

‘I’ve been working on the (Jiffy Lube advertising) business for at least 10 years,’ she said. Guthrie first nabbed the account when Gray, Kirk Vansant was VanSant Dugdale.

The new agency is already breaking its first creative for the new client with a series of four radio commercials. The Richardson, Myers & Donofrio ad campaign announces that the celebrated ‘Jiffy Lube Guy’ is missing.

Retiring the Jiffy Lube commercial character is a risky move, as he is a well-known spokesperson in Maryland. Played by Bill McCutty for nearly six years, he used to call people on their car phones to talk about the last time they had their vehicle’s oil changed.

McCutty has gone on to a position at Fox television, according to Guthrie.

In the new radio commercials, Maryland listeners will be asked to honk their car horns in unison in a tribute to the oil-change advocate who has disappeared. A Jiffy Lube pledge will also be read aloud across the radio airwaves in his honor.

The campaign also has an edgy quality. One spot, with a Dennis Hopper-like character, develops a paranoid theory on the Jiffy Lube Guy’s disappearance.

‘It’s a conspiracy,’ the character tells listeners. ‘The Jiffy Lube Guy was visionary. He saw the future. A fast, convenient way to get your car serviced. That’s why he had to go.’

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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