Friday, January 13, 2012

I Kinda Feel Sorry for That Guy from Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc.

As Confessors know, and as The Ticket's sales department either loves or hates, I listen to the ads.

Lately I've been feeling sorry for the guy who owns, and reads the ads for, Structured Foundation Repairs.  I think his name is Tom Kidd.

He sounds like a really nice guy, sincere.  I'm sure it's a great company with a fine product.  If you go to its website (http://www.structuredfoundationrepairs.com/) you will see all manner of testimonials, 5-star approval rating (although if you click on those five stars, there's no link, so the provenance of that rating is not clear), good works for the community.  (Although they have the same logo, the connection between www.structuredfoundation.com and www.structuredfoundationrepairs.com is unclear.)  And their foundation repair is probably terrific, backed by what sounds like a solid warranty.

But for years The Ticket has been a home-away-from-home for All-Pro Foundation Repair. 
It has a gigantic promotional footprint on The Little One.

Back in October 2010, I wrote this article ("Never Never No Never No No Never -- and I Mean Never -- Buy a House from a Ticket Host") in which I noted that Craig, George, Norm, Bob, Dan, and Mike all stated in an ad then running that they were "customers" of All-Pro, and I suggested that Ticket hosts must be cursed since they all seemed to have foundation problems.  Either that or those gents were victims of an incredibly unfortunate coincidence.   (Corby and Gordon, who did not confess to being All-Pro customers, were having terrible plumbing problems that Baker Brothers tended to -- note Baker Brothers' neat "we get it" comment to that article.)   This was the first time that I thought maybe someone at The Ticket might actually read this site, because not long thereafter the ads changed to remove the suggestion that Ticket hosts had bad foundations, and now they just say that all the hosts "endorse" All-Pro.  And, of course, many of them continue to appear on nearly every All-Pro ad.

And All-Pro has a very tight jingle ("the right solution for your home").

And All-Pro's ad features a professional announcer in addition to the host-endorsers.

And the All-Pro guys are University of North Texas alumni.

And there's a whole batch of them, a couple of whom used to be on the ads, sounding like a couple of frat guys with dirt-support engineering degrees.

And -- and surely this is critical -- All-Pro employs all methods of foundation repair, including some kind of exotic solid core pier, so that no matter how lopsided your crib may be from the subsidence in the earth's crust caused by the fracking operations just over George's fence, they can find some kind of gigantic tool to put it level again. 

What about Structured Foundation Repairs?

No celebrity endorsers.  No host reading copy.  Just Tom.  And, recently, little daughter Kylie, whose fee is probably fairly modest.

Only one guy.

No announcer.

No jingle.

No suggestion that SFR has more than one kind of pier.  (Although Tom offers the same lifetime transferable guarantee as All-Pro.  By the way, what is a lifetime transferable guarantee?  If you sell your home and transfer the guarantee, and then you die, does the warranty expire?  Does your buyer have some stake in keeping your ass alive after you've stuck him with your defective sinking dump?)

And the guy is an Aggie.

So I'm trying to imagine the Ticket account person visiting Tom there at Structured Foundation Repair, trying to sell him some time.  And I'm wondering how it goes.  I mean, Tom has got to know that APFR is spending an  ungodly fortune both for the time and for the goodwill of those enthusiastically endorsing hosts.  Mostly, I'm wondering if The Ticket is such an incredible promotion machine, especially when so many hosts jump on to endorse the sponsor, that Structured Foundations had to do something just to stay in the foundation-repair consciousness of uncounted heads-of-household for whom The Ticket hosts speak gospel.  (I'm one, but don't tell Mrs. Plainsman.) 

So I'm thinking:  Tom probably has a damned fine product and no one with a sweet daughter like Kylie is going to screw me on my foundation repair, should I need one.  And All-Pro is probably already completely swamped with P1's hoping to take advantage of the free engineer's report -- and mind you, it's an independent engineer -- a goddam $500 value! -- if you sign up for the All-Pro deal on that visit, which, correct me if I'm wrong, renders the engineer's report 100% worthless.   

So I'm thinking that Tom and his crew are highly incentivized to come out very promptly and give me a good deal and make me a happy, non-slanting homeowner.

Therefore, I'm proud to announce that effective immediately, My Ticket Confession is endorsing Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc.  

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure what this is all about, but I do wish the Cumulus owned Sweet Jack campaign would FREAKIN' END NOW!
I can't take it anymore. Sure, like a lot of people, I was first suckered in by the catchy tune. But now it makes me want to turn the dial. In fact, if they insist on running it every single commercial break, I think I'm going to take a vacation from The Ticket. And I don't care how long I have to wait it out. At the very least play a new ad for the dumb website or service or whatever the hell it is.

Little Weak Jeremy said...

I love the Andy Kaufman-esque utter madness of the Sweet Jack ad and look forward to Dan's performance of it at Ticketstock.

Plainsman,

I'd advise you not to stroll down dark alleys any time soon, lest you meet some hired thugs wearing green. You've been a thorn in AP's side before and with this latest brickbat-throwing they may choose to take decisive action.

Anonymous said...

What do you find Andy Kaufman-esque about the Sweet Jack ads, LWJ?

Little Weak Jeremy said...

I find it impossible to imagine these guys don't know they're whipping the ever-loving shit out of listeners. It's so horrible that it comes out the other side as great audience-abuse performance art, kind of like Kaufman with the Tony Clifton act (and similar to what Dan will be doing if he sings it at Ticketstock). I'm basically rehashing the position that Jake Z took on It's Just Banter (episode 112, I think).

ap said...

Minor clarification; the "AP" in the second comment refers to "all-pro foundation repair" - I'd never accost the good Plainsman!

Regarding Sweetjack, this has been a growing nuisance since October of last year. Around that time, an irate BaD Radio screenless caller complained at length that signing up for the Ticket's text message alert service had somehow opted him into SweetJack advertising spam. At the time, I thought "wow, the ticket has stooped to a new low" because the text promos claimed they'd never sell your info. Mind you, a host (Craig or Dan, I don't remember which) had added the comment "until we deem it profitable" during the initial run of those ads, but I digress. Dan let the caller go for about a minute, but he did eventually cut him off. I thought it was weird for them not to immediately dump an anti-sponsor call, but I chalked it up to Dan's "stick it to the man" life mantra.

So I was left thinking "Wow, the ticket just sold out it's P1 base to this SweetJack sponsor". A month later during the Christmas layover, I found myself waking up with the Sweet-Jack tune stuck in my head. It became more and more aggravating, and a few weeks later, the P1's also became vocal about it. I was averaging about one anti-SweetJack tweet per day until a P1 lightly chastised myself (and Sean Bass) for calling out a rare Q1 sponsor. So I stopped...

...For about 2 hours. Then I found out (via twitter and during the Musers's 5:30AM skatearound) that SweetJack is actually a Cumulus venture. That's how they were able to access the P1 database of cell phone numbers, and that's why they can play that damned spot ad-nauseum. It's basically filler until regular sponsors come back, and even then, I think it will still be in heavy rotation. As far as I can tell, SweetJack is a direct competitor to GroupOn, but they can leverage their radio advertising opportunity as well.

You can tell that the hosts have taken notice to the P1's outcry and no longer treat Sweet Jack as a sacred sponsor. Gordon, Sean, Rich, Dan and Mike R have all taken on-air shots at the advertisement, and I bet they will continue to do so until a gag order is issued from Cumulus.

I've also noticed that the frequency of those ads has increased tremendously, despite the ticket's commercial load returning to healthier levels. One wonders just how aggressively Cumulus wants to push this thing.

AnonNoLonger said...

I think *fingers and toes crossed* that we might be seeing the beginning of the end of the Sweet Jack onslaught. I've noticed that a shortened version of the ad/song is being played from time to time. Hopefully the shorter ad will soon become the only spot run, and eventually it'll die out. Or perhaps Cumulus will at least start a new ad campaign for their web-"cool"-thing-of-the-moment endeavor. Like I said fingers and toes crossed.

Little Weak Jeremy: I'm not sure if I can agree with you that the advertisement group hired by Cumulus thinks along the lines you've imputed onto them. Actually, I highly doubt it. Cumulus one heckuva *monied and even make or break you* client, and I can't imagine a business fooling around as such. The ad's design is to entice, not repulse. And as much as I detest the campaign and its song, it has done its job in spades where the masses are concerned. So I have to respectfully disagree with you here.

Anonymous said...

Following up on AP's post, just about every TV station and/or newspaper has a "Deal of the Day" service these days. So it's no surprise Cumulus would have its own. The bubble will burst on these deal sites before too long. Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later for SweetJack.

The Plainsman said...

I was going to do a bit on SweetJack, but you all have beat me to it, and rather authoritatively I might say.

I remember hearing the shorter version first, and then the more annoying longer two-verse version where they replace the final rhyme of the first verse with another rhyme, and stick the removed rhyme on the end of the second verse about how he sticks the stuff in your in-box and "that's why he rocks."

My problem is much worse. Not only was I humming that cursed tune all day long, but while doing so I actually formed a mental image of a smallish dog racing around town looking for bargains and then coming back and pawing out a mass email to SweeJack victims.

Scott said...

Odd, I heard the SFR ad this morning for the first time and had the exact same thought, especially as George did a live ad for All Pro about 15 minutes later.

As to Sweet Jack, it has driven me nuts. I wonder though, how many have actually sat down and typed in that url to see what is there. I admit, I did, and, on occasion, they have deals.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jack is an instant punch out for me. Hope Cumulus is happy screwing over their other advertisers by forcing listeners to tune out due to their own. Sweet Jack has moved to the top of the list, alongside Godaddy, of products I'll never use due to their advertising.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Yeah, you lost me at the gratuitous "GD" in your statement..

Kickballhead said...

i do not concur.

Anonymous said...

Anyone catch Mike R call Gregg Williams (the NFL coordinator) the "worthwhile" Gregg Williams? He said it directly after a Greggo drop. Even Danny guffawed a bit. I guess no water has been washed under the bridge in that relationship!

birq said...

Sounds like somebody suspects he has foundation issues and is looking to trade an endorsement for a discount. What happened to the high standards of journalistic integrity in the blogosphere?

Anonymous said...

Birq, et alia: Let's not impute motive onto others. That's a dangerous thing to do. Furthermore the game can be turned back onto yourselves.

birq said...

Nah, my foundation is fine.

Anonymous said...

Can we get some thoughts on Corbys over laughing? I swear it has gotten worse more recently and it's getting annoying. He stops down constantly to laugh at almost every little side comment and then has that long drawn in breath. The stuff just isn't that funny 9 times out of 10.

Anonymous said...

WHERE IS JUNIOR

Anonymous said...

Corby and Donavon ought to get their own show. They can call it "The Laugh In." First, it'll be the second Ticket show with an outdated name (Soul Patch being the first); and second, they can spend the entire time laughing at everything. Especially laughing at their own comments. Fun.

Junior is out sick.

shaggy8894 said...

I'm still trying to figure out how being from "here" or attending North Texas State means that I should trust you with my home's foundation. I would prefer more applicable qualifications. For that matter, why is the fact that SMU has a "tree-lined campus" make it the right choice for my Executive MBA needs.

Blergoyen said...

I don't like having to hand my prized smart phone over to a kid to take down all the sweetjack info when you use an ecoupon.

That being said, I feel EVEN SORRIER for the old guy in the Guardian construction (roofing) commercials. I'm not trying to be mean, as I am dealing with this very issue with a family member right now, but the poor old guy sounds like he might be suffering the onset of mild dimensia. He starts rambling in both commercials and the son actually has to interrupt him in order to finish the commercials. He sounds like a nice guy, so I hate to criticize, but the sound of that guy hits a little close to home right now.

The Plainsman said...

A warm welcome to Blergoyen, and you're on the button. The first time I heard the Guardian Roofing commercial I wasn't sure I was hearing it correctly, but the second time -- oh, my. I pictured this old guy on my roof and a stiff breeze . . . .

I wonder how much input Cumulo-Ticket account managers have with respect to new sponsors who may not have cut an ad before. Do they just sell the time and say "deliver us your ad and make sure it's 30 seconds and doesn't have any cussing," or do they help out, offer advice, steer them towards production and creative types, suggest maybe that Pops isn't giving the best impression of the company?

Blergoyen said...

Thanks for the welcome Plainsman. I like your work here.

In regard to the ads, I'll take some liberty in assuming the CTO has an internal ad department that enables the the sales staff to offer a few choices:
(1)A One stop shop - maybe someone creates a message, writes the copy, maybe a jingle and a girl named Tara will do a very enthusiastic voice-over. Listen closely and you'll hear her voice inflection on all the CTO stations.She's the one in the Frankie's ads that just likes "chill and unwind after work."
(2)Collaboration - let's do it together and maybe have one or more hosts read the copy with you.
(3)Submit your own ad and our professionals will edit and/or give feedback. If you are Kevin Miller, you won't have to acknowledge any of our feedback and just go with whatever doesn't make sense this week.

I imagine Guardian was aware of the ramblings in the ads, but felt it gave a certain sincerity/honesty to the ads and left it all in.

Or I could be WAY off and have no idea how it works.

ap said...

Ticket Tara is a lovely gal, and you're right, she does do a lot of female voice spots for the Ticket (as well as the open for the now-defunct 'scrubs').

She was also a finalist for the Ticket Top 10 battle when Chris House left, and a fight-night competitor too, if I'm not mistaken. I haven't heard her on air much recently though.

Blergoyen said...

yeah, I haven't spotted her voice as much on the stream, but it seems like that Frankie's commercial would follow up every sweet jack spot over the past few weeks. Maybe she's too busy co-hosting HGgradio with David Yates on KLIF weekends.