Radio Ads Build Plumber’s Brand

Ed Zeitler’s recipe for effective marketing has been a combination of a catchy slogan and his children doing the radio recording

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Word-of-mouth referrals often serve as a plumber’s best, and least expensive, form of marketing. But at Zeitler Plumbing in Cecil, Wisconsin, third-generation owner Ed Zeitler says radio advertising has also played a key role in helping his family business thrive.

Zeitler’s father, John Zeitler, started running radio ads in the 1970s. The centerpiece of the short ads is a catchy company slogan his father created himself: A flush is better than a full house. And that slogan raised the company’s profile even further in 2007, when an advertising salesman from a radio station suggested that Zeitler’s children get involved. Zeitler thought the idea had potential and agreed to give it a try.

It turned out to be a good move. Having children record the catchy slogan made the ads endearing and the slogan even more memorable. Over the years, all three of Zeitler’s children — Jacob, now 22 years old; Katie, 19; and Megan, 15 — have taken turns recording the slogan, making them mini-celebrities in the community.

“We know the ads have been effective because customers mention them a lot,” Zeitler says. “They tell me, ‘I hear your children on the radio all the time.’ And when the kids were younger, people would come up to us in, say, a grocery store, and kiddingly ask them if I was paying them to do the commercials.”

Not everyone has found the slogan funny, though. One day an anonymous caller left a message on the company’s answering machine, chastising Zeitler for his poker-playing ignorance because a flush really doesn’t beat a full house.

“That was pretty funny,” he says.

Even though the radio ads have been airing for years, Zeitler keeps on running them. The way he sees it, people are always moving in and out of the area, and newcomers will probably need a plumber at some point.

“We want to be the one they call,” he says. “I believe a business has to advertise constantly.”

You can listen below to each of the Zeitler children recording the catchy ads that have become commonplace on the radio airwaves around Cecil, Wisconsin. The audio files are courtesy of Results Broadcasting of Shawano, Wisconsin.

Katie:

Jacob:

Megan:

You can also read more about Zeitler Plumbing in this full profile featured in the May issue of Plumber magazine.



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