Roto-Rooter Unclogs Media Buy

Roto-Rooter returns to national advertising today for the first time in 15 years, with a new campaign created by Grant/Jacoby here.
Two of the three 15-second TV spots continue a path, begun four years ago, of highlighting the Cincinnati-based company’s plumbing services, said Rudy Banny, vice president and creative director at Grant/Jacoby.
One spot features a woman sitting in her living room near a bucket filling with water from a dripping ceiling. After time ticks by, a bathtub comes crashing through from above. “Next time call a Roto-Rooter plumber. When we make an appointment, we keep it,” the voiceover says.
Another spot humorously mocks people’s proclivity to make plumbing jobs worse by attempting to do them themselves.
The spots carry a new tagline, “America’s neighborhood plumber,” intended to lead people away from local plumbers and the perception that Roto-Rooter only does drain cleaning, Banny said.
A third spot, however, emphasizes the company’s drain cleaning prowess. In it, a goodhearted man cleans his refrigerator by dumping its contents down the drain–but only in instrumental form.
The spots use an instrumental version of the company’s signature jingle–“Roto-Rooter that’s the name, and away go troubles down the drain”–which had been downplayed in recent years.
For the past 15 years, Roto-Rooter has only advertised regionally, Banny said. It is returning to the national scene to compete with other companies and utilities that are starting to offer plumbing services, he said.
The campaign breaks today on broadcast TV as well as cable networks such as CNN, ESPN, USA Network and The Weather Channel. Two 30-second radio spots are also included in the campaign.
Media planning and buying was handled by Media That Works in Cincinnati.