TruGreen Promotes Customized Lawn Care With Humorous Ad Campaign: "You Might Have a Plan"

Ad Agency Publicis Dallas Taps Professional Comedians — including Penn & Teller — Adding Humor and Wit to TV Spots Satirizing Unsuccessful, Homespun Lawn Care Plans

DALLAS and MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 12, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- TruGreen, the nation's largest professional lawn care service provider, today launched a new national ad campaign incorporating humor and wit to convey the hazards of do-it-yourself and makeshift plans to grow a healthy lawn.

Themed "You Might Have a Plan," the integrated ad campaign taps professional comedians, including Penn & Teller, to portray the potential dangers of thinking you have a plan, versus actually having a professional, customized lawn care plan from TruGreen. The new ad campaign was created by TruGreen agency of record, Publicis Dallas.

According to Brad Cumings, TruGreen's chief marketing officer, homeowners realize that no two lawns are alike. A lawn care approach that works in one part of the country doesn't necessarily work somewhere else.

"As the leader in lawn care, we believe everyone should get the most out of their yard," Cumings said. "TruGreen offers customized lawn care designed specifically to meet your lawn's needs throughout the year based on climate, grass type, soil condition and usage. And we back it up with our Healthy Lawn Guarantee."

The TruGreen Healthy Lawn Planincludes protection against lawn pests, the use of a time-release formula to gradually feed important nutrients to the lawn, and ongoing customized lawn care.

"Consumers and local providers can concoct some extreme tactics in their desire to have the best lawn on the block," said Shon Rathbone, executive vice president/executive creative director, Publicis Dallas. "But good intentions can backfire as the new TruGreen campaign humorously depicts. America will have a laugh, while getting well-informed about the benefits of a professional, customized lawn care solution from TruGreen."

Four television commercials (view ads at links) support the humorous campaign:

  • "Weed Slayer" 30-second
  • "Magic" 30-second
  • "Birds" 15-second
  • "Fake Grass" 15-second

In "Fake Grass," the scene opens to a nice suburban neighborhood where all the lawns are green, except one. In that yard, we see a guy who, in an attempt to cover his horrible-looking grass, has rolled out synthetic turf and is on his knees with a staple gun stapling it down. SFX: staple gun pops. He finishes and looks out to admire his yard of synthetic grass when he notices a hump in the middle. SFX: MEOW! A look of panic comes over his face as he realizes he's trapped the family cat under the fake grass. VO: "You might have a plan, but is it a customized plan?" 

The integrated campaign spans national cable (e.g., HGTV, USA Network, TNT, Food Network, Travel Channel), local TV, local traffic radio, direct mail, national digital display, public relations and print collateral.

Print headlines include: 

  • "Your lawn is about to wake from months of sleep. It's going to be hungry." 
  • "Your lawn is about to enter a race. It's grass vs. weeds." 
  • "Your lawn isn't the only thing in full bloom. Bugs and weeds are trying to take ground."

About TruGreen

Memphis, Tenn.-based TruGreen is the nation's largest lawn care company, serving more than 2.5 million residential and commercial customers across the United States with lawn, tree and shrub care. As the industry leader, TruGreen continues to pioneer the development of new technology for lawn care and devotes substantial resources to evaluate new products and equipment. The company is committed to responsible lawn care, including offering and promoting the use of natural, organic services and sustainable practices. Today, there are approximately 250 TruGreen branches in the United States and Canada, including about 50 franchise locations. TruGreen is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands, one of the world's largest and most versatile service networks. Go to or for more information about TruGreen.

About ServiceMaster

With a global network of more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. The company's high-profile brands are TruGreen, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 21,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands serves more than 8.2 million customers every year. Our brands hold market-leading positions in residential and commercial lawn, tree and shrub care, termite and pest control, home warranties, furniture repair, home inspections, residential and commercial cleaning and disaster restoration. Go to for more information about ServiceMaster, or follow us at or

About Publicis Dallas

Publicis Dallas, an integrated marketing communications agency, is a part of Publicis Worldwide in the USA, the North American regional operating unit of Paris-based Publicis Worldwide, the largest global agency network within holding company, Publicis Groupe S.A. The mission of Publicis Worldwide is 'To Lead the Change' to help our clients leap ahead. Publicis Dallas clients include: CiCi's Pizza, Nestle, GSK, and ServiceMaster brands TruGreen and Terminix, among others.

SOURCE TruGreen; Publicis Dallas



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