We caught up with Cam Glover, VP of Orkin Marketing for Atlanta, Ga.-based Rollins Inc., to talk about Orkin Pest Control’s debut of the Orkin Pro — a 21st-century update of the Orkin Man, who has been a staple of the company’s marketing ever since Pest Management Professional Hall of Famer Otto Orkin (Class of 1999) created the mascot in the 1940s. Seeing as how the original “Otto the Orkin Man” was an anthropomorphic can of insecticide, it makes sense that the character has evolved with the times. Having an Orkin Pro means branding can showcase male and female technicians, and riffing on the word “pro” has led to a series of humorous commercials where other “pros” are called in to control pests. Watch the commercials on Orkin’s YouTube channel at Bit.ly/3s8NUIO.
1. Was there a defining moment when the team knew it wanted to talk about the Orkin Woman as much as the Orkin Man?
Over the past several years, we’ve been working to make sure all our frontline employees were represented in our branding. We began using the phrase “Orkin Technician” to be more inclusive, and we knew we could take it to the next level with a new term. Being more representative is also important as we communicate with customers and future customers, as well as employees and future employees, that we ensure they feel represented and can identify with our branding.
2. Was it Orkin’s new ad agency that came up with the idea to emphasize “pro” over pest control?
During the pitch process, our new agency brought the term to the table. We thought it was smart thinking, and everyone was wishing they’d thought about it earlier! “Pro” allows for some creative thinking across our marketing channels.
3. Similarly, were the topics of ants, mosquitoes and termites chosen for their individual importance to customers, or just to fit the funny settings in the trio of commercials?
We chose the topics for the commercials based on the services we wanted to highlight with consumers, and then we found professionals who could help fulfill the humor aspect.
4. How has internal response been at Orkin to this latest incarnation of the company mascot?
We have had a great internal response to the Orkin Pro and our new advertising campaign. There is a lot of excitement for how “Orkin Pro” helps recognize all the training and expertise our frontline employees receive as part of their career journey at Orkin. The terminology change has caught on quickly.
5. Orkin has a long marketing history; do you think this terminology may catch on in the industry overall?
I can only speak for our company, but for many years we’ve been working to become more representative of our employees and customers, and this is a great step in that direction. We look forward to the opportunity this new campaign and our Pros provide as we look to the future. Our ultimate goal is to always provide customers with the most professional customer service possible, and our marketing just helps reassure them of that.