Hosers do spots for Mr. Lube, eh?

Bob and Doug McKenzie are back on television. Canada's favorite hosers have been brought back after a five-year hiatus by the Mr. Lube division of Imperial Oil and its agency Robins Sharpe of Toronto.Agency chairman Brad Robins says the quick lube...

Bob and Doug McKenzie are back on television.

Canada’s favorite hosers have been brought back after a five-year hiatus by the Mr. Lube division of Imperial Oil and its agency Robins Sharpe of Toronto.

Agency chairman Brad Robins says the quick lube category is low-interest, price-sensitive and traditionally a heavy user of price-saving coupons.

Added pressure in the market is coming from car dealerships which are actively going after every piece of the service business.

Robins says using established characters, rather than developing new ones, was the fastest way for Mr. Lube to break away from the pack and establish an identity.

He says hewas surprised at the outcome of market research that indicated Bob and Doug McKenzie had 90% recall in all age groups.

Even consumers who said they didn’t much like the characters, said they would stop channel grazing to see what they had to say.

The McKenzies, alias sctv alumni Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, have matured.

Robins says the commercials highlight the ‘charming’ traits in the traditional Bob-and Doug exchanges while removing some of their more abrasive antics.

Bob and Doug’s mom is also introduced. She brings her car to Mr. Lube, appealing to female car-owners and also helping to soften the image of the McKenzies.

Three 30-second tv commercials were launched last week, ‘Tuxedo’, ‘Keep Guzzlin’ and ‘Esso Protec.’

Each begins with the musical call of the hosers, ‘Karookookoo’, and focuses on various benefits such as coffee and newspapers for customers, coloring books for kids, 10-minute service and the use of Esso lubricants.

Robins Sharpe has created a year’s worth of radio spots – 29 seasonal, promotional and donut versions – for local use by Mr. Lube dealers.

Dealers also have a library of print ads, busboards, coupons and outdoor advertising from which to choose.

There are 40 corporate and 50 franchised Mr. Lube locations across Canada.