Residential Heating & Air ConditioningTelevision Advertising Case Study
In August of 2017, the owner one of the five largest residential heating and air conditioning companies in Austin asked me to meet with him to discuss their television and radio advertising strategy. The owner knew his advertising wasn’t as effective as it should have been. He also knew he didn’t have the advertising expertise to make a new plan on his own.
Early in 2017, the owner terminated his company’s advertising agency. He left in place the media buy placed by the agency and moved hi company’s creative to a local television station’s in-house production department. The company’s annual television and radio budget was more than $150,000.
Their strategy as of August 2017 included running a generic :30 television spot with pricing on service and AC replacement and a testimonial spot.
The media buy included one local network station and cable. The station was a good fit for a heating and air conditioning business’ target demographic, but the spots were almost all running Monday-Friday in the middle of the workday. My assessment was the station rep sold the agency low spot prices and lots of spots. This is good for the station because it moves lower demand inventory that rarely gets sold out. To the advertiser and the agency it might look good because they’re receiving “lots of spots.
The cable buy was an automated package that Spectrum sells that gives Spectrum control over what cable networks and what times the spots run. Spectrum promotes the package as an algorithm-based schedule designed to deliver the maximum amount of reach and frequency within the advertiser’s target demographic. Again, the advertiser gets “lots of spots” but no control over what networks and times the spots run. Spectrum benefits from selling these packages my selling inventory that otherwise wouldn’t be sold thereby maximizing the use of their inventory. The packages were invented on the corporate level.
“No wonder the company’s advertising wasn’t working as well as the owner thought it should be.
My recommendations were to create :30 spots that featured the owner on camera positioned as the expert on residential heating and air conditioning. This would give the company a stronger brand identity and lend credibility to the messaging.
My media strategy was to consolidate the television budget on the number one local station in the market for local news. I recommended buying weekday morning, 5pm, 6pm and 10pm news. News is one of the most expensive programs per spot on the station but it delivered an upscale, homeowning age 35+ demographic which was the company’s target. The budget was increased 10% over the previous year but reach and frequency of the company’s television advertising increased more than 20% each.
The company adopted the strategy for 2018. Two weeks into the campaign the owner emailed to tell me that he and his employees were receiving more feedback on their television advertising in the first two weeks than they had received in all the previous year. They were excited. This is anecdotal evidence of the campaign’s success.
At the end of the first quarter the company’s revenue was up more than 30%. This is not anecdotal. At the end of the year the company’s revenue was up more than 30%.