Orkin's New Ads Are Wonderfully Slow and Unexpectedly Funny

Relax into a life without bugs

Insects, not surprisingly, have featured prominently in lots of Orkin advertising over the years. Often, the bugs are depicted as human-sized—the better to communicate their grossness and generally unpleasant nature, probably.

But a new campaign from longtime agency The Richards Group takes a totally different approach. A handful of new TV ads don't urge you to get rid of pests, because they're already gone. And life is gooood. Everyone is so relaxed and mellow, and it's all because of Orkin.

The 30-second spots definitely owe a debt to the slow-TV trend, and will stand out on TV because of it. But there is a twist. As the quiet, wordless, homey vignettes of domestic contentment play out, a single line of copy appears on screen—comically hinting at pest-related grossness our blissed-out protagonists have managed to avoid.

Check out the spots below, to see how they play out:

Orkin | Back Porch
Orkin | Breakfast
Orkin | Dinner Party

Dustin Ballard, copywriter at The Richards Group, tells Muse that the new direction came out of a total rethink of what Orkin is actually selling. 

"It's not pest control service," he says. "It's the absence of pests. It's being at home without a cockroach scurrying across the floor. We decided that a creatively novel approach would be to literally show that end product—the peaceful bliss of nothingness—juxtaposed with some old-fashioned theater-of-the-mind for what might have been." 

Orkin | New House
Orkin | Nursery
Orkin | Sleeping

The approach upends category norms, Ballard adds. 

"We wanted to move away from basic formula of the 'Have bugs? We can solve the problem' approach to advertising in our category," he says. "When Orkin provides service to our customers, the absence of bugs is the main benefit. We thought this campaign was a clever way of getting that message across." 

Check out some new OOH work below. 

CREDITS

Client: Orkin
Agency: The Richards Group
Creative Group Heads: David Morring and Tim Tone
Art Director: Ryan Bates
Copywriter: Dustin Ballard
Producer: David Rucker
Production Company: Southern Sky Films
Executive Producer: Ray Coutin/Zach Bush/Kent Bishop
Director: Cameron Gott
Clients: Kevin Smith, Cam Glover
Brand Management: Pete Lempert, Jessica Walker, Kristin Trumble
Post production: Treehouse Editorial
Executive Producer: Jeremy Besser
Producer: Kathy Whitback
Editor: John McStravick
Visual Artist: Bryan Bayley
Audio Engineer: Eric Jenkins

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.