Saturday, October 27, 2018

Frampa. Makes buying oil filters fun....

Fram is an American auto aftermarket oil filter company that's been around for over eighty-five years.

The tagline: "Filter out the nonsense.The right place with the right filters at the right price."

The newest member of the Fram team is a spokesperson they call: Frampa and should look familiar to anyone who has ever watched Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul's "Mike" the brilliant Jonathan Banks.

Banks is a perfect spokesperson for this brand. He extends his already well-known character who in both series of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul embodies the hardscrabble, rough-edged retired cop and has seen and done it all. In many of the episodes, Mike is seen as a handyman fiddling with cars and setting up complex ways to outwit bad guys with simple tools and hardware improvised by years of having to make do.

Frampa is the everyman you see spending hours in aftermarket auto stores rooting around for this n that. We all know a Frampa.

In this ad series, cleverly written to the borrowed interest of Mike's no b.s. authoritarian character, we see Frampa, the old wise-guy in the auto aftermarket segment popping up and making sure the young pups know what's what when it comes to oil filters.

Frampa is no Mr. Whipple caught creepily and vicariously squeezing the Charmin.

He's in your face with no apologies for young male millennials ignorance about keeping a car or truck properly lubed. And he's completely irreverent about their lifestyles. He sums this up by his great tag line: "It's the orange one, numbnuts."  Which again slams home the vacuousness of the male millennial life.

The only part of this campaign I find 'cheesy' is the opening sting which is a vocal: "He's Frampa!"
I suppose it's meant to be cheesy and if you're making your seagrass smoothie in the next room, hearing this will bring you to watch the ad. However, I find it a bit of overkill. But I am sure the client loves it.

For a very niche market segment that used to only be seen in auto body/car trader ads, this is a prime example of how cleverly an obscure brand can become a household name.

The brilliant choice of Banks and using the borrowed interest of his well established Mike character is perfect for this product. Spokespersons are a dime a dozen and an old-school form of reaching your target. The critical factor is matching the product with the right spokesperson and writing to that character. So often this approach doesn't work because you sign the right person but you don't let the character of the person or the character they are famous for, carry it. And this is a brilliant example of how well this works when it's done right. But this can also be a Catch 22 for the same reasons.The caution for this campaign and I am sure they tested for this was the fact that most of the target would always see Frampa as Mike. But maybe in this case, given how obscure the product segment is, that's ok too.

It's fun. It's irreverent. It's well written and well delivered, production values are good and overall it must be totally building this brand with those snowflake millennials.

Cudos to Laughlin Constable an Indie agency in Milwaukee.

I give this campaign a 10 for 10.

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