How GOT-JUNK? got on Oprah

Oprah. Dr. Phil. The View. Cityline. The list of high-profile shows Vancouver-based 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has landed on is impressive. Oh, and, after rebranding, sales are up 70%.

Oprah. Dr. Phil. The View. Cityline. The list of high-profile shows Vancouver-based 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has landed on is impressive. Oh, and, after rebranding, sales are up 70%.

How did they do it? By tapping into the emotional connection people have with their junk and getting rid of it. The new strategy is based on the insight that many people procrastinate about clearing out junk. It aims to drive sales by ‘nagging’ people to call.

The PR effort was amazingly simple – the communications people simply played up the emotional connection (which landed them on Dr. Phil), and tied into the home reno craze (which got them on shows like Oprah).

There are also flyers, post-its, doorhangers and a TV spot: 30 seconds cleverly split into four five-second nags (‘Did you clean the attic yet?’) spliced between other commercials, with a 10-second call-to-action at the end.

We asked Alan Russell, VP/CD at DDB Vancouver, and Baron Manett,

VP at Toronto-based Segal Communications, to weigh in on whether this campaign is a keeper.


BM: The campaign shows strong insight into the customer benefit. I have been a customer and was quite satisfied: The service was prompt and professional, but I didn’t call and purchase their services until I was reminded more than a few times by my wife that I had promised to get some ‘junk’ out of our home. The theme of nagging coupled with the tagline of ‘Just get it done’ is bang on for the category.


AR: Sure, the executions could be better but it does have the right tonality for the brand – and that would be, cheap and cheerful.

BM: The creative is straightforward and supports the promise that the service will make life easier for the customer. It extends well to all tactical executions of the campaign. The reassurance and trusting colour of blue with environmentally friendly green is a strong pairing.


AR: They’ve obviously been extremely successful in terms of PR and non-traditional advertising. Huge applause goes to whomever is behind the company’s buzz-creating effort.

BM: With any rebranding or ‘brand focus’ exercise, PR is an important consideration. Home improvement programming on TV does not seem to be slowing down, and the

1-800-GOT-JUNK? service is a good fit for media and promotional partnerships.


AR: ‘Remove your junk as easily as you remove this’ for the

post-its and door hangers is clever and interactive. Nice and simple, but wait. Flip over and we’re back to multiple messaging: ‘Did you clean the garage yet?’ ‘Just get it done.’ ‘Got junk?’ ‘Just get it done.’ Enough already.


AR: I expect most men would rather have a TV super nagging away at them than the missus.

Plus, there’s a bonus: The pay-off gives them the solution to the pain-in-the-ass chore.

I liked this use of the medium, the simplicity, the surprise and, once again, the dirt cheap production values are totally appropriate.

BM: The five-second teaser idea is a creative media idea and the insight of nagging is strong. There’s always the question of whether the channel-surfing audience will put the two together or even see the tease elements prior to the spot. The strength of the media plan can empower this campaign to break through.

The creds:

Client – 1-800-GOT-JUNK?: Pete Burgeson, marketing director; Holly McLennan, Andrea Baxter, marketing managers; Christopher Bennett, public relations.

Consultant – Sinek Partners, NYC: Simon Sinek, CEO