The Client Whose Copy Never Changes

  • Consistency is a great virtue in advertising, all other factors being equal. 

    Most of my advertising clients have annual contracts that call for being on the air every day. This degree of exposure usually requires regular changes of copy, to maintain a healthy balance between repetition and freshness. 

    But I have one client, a mom-and-pop automotive body shop and towing service, that's been running the same ad every week, every month, every year...for well over a decade.

    Yes, from a servicing standpoint it's almost an embarrassment.

    We laugh about it from time to time. 

    All the way to the bank.

    Because Myers Auto Rebuild and Towing also happens to occupy the enviable Top Rung of their category ladder. By a mile.

    A dozen years ago, Steve and Theresa Myers met with a jingle company rep we'd brought into town and decided they'd move forward on a custom "musical image" for their shop. 

    If you've ever worked with jingle salespeople, you know that they often follow an interview format not unlike the RAB's "client needs analysis." They meet for 30-45 minutes with each prospect, asking lots of questions in an effort to document the advertiser's niche, his USP, or at least what HE thinks are his strong selling points. Then they turn these answers over to a lyricist, who presumably will distill from these notes the poetry that will woo buyers out of the WOOdwork.

    It has been my experience that many of these well-meaning efforts end rather poorly. in an attempt to feed back to the client in one 30-second song, everything about the business that came up in the interview, the result is an unfocused exercise in musical chest-thumping. 

    In the Myers' case, the first draft was faxed to them for approval within a week of their interview. Theresa called me, a tone of concern in her voice, to ask if I would stop by to review what the jingle writer had come up with. My response merely confirmed what their gut had already told them: it was a mess.

    The tune was catchy. The singer was perfect. But the message was as engaging as oatmeal.  So, I offered to rewrite the lyrics. We checked with the singer to see if he had any objection to this. He didn't; he just wanted to sing something and get paid.

    I've always enjoyed writing rhyming copy. The challenge here was to keep it simple and focused, to convey in 30 seconds when and why someone would call Myers Auto Rebuild, and what they could expect as a result. The new lyrics worked, resulting in a full-sing version that has enjoyed remarkable longevity.

    When a few weeks after the jingle first hit the airwaves Steve and Theresa received a telephone call from the owner of a competitor's body shop, complaining that his kids were singing their jingle, they knew they had a winner.

    They've not been inclined to change their copy ever since. 

    Here's the jingle.