Commercial HVAC technicians generally earn a comfortable living — one that can support a family…or a really large sneaker collection, if that’s your thing. In some cases, techs can earn six figures — without the back-breaking debt that accompanies a traditional four-year degree.
Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, there is a significant labor shortage in the HVAC industry. According to Field Boss, “U.S. statistics show that 25% of the [HVAC] workforce will be of retirement age by 2020.” That timing isn’t great, considering that the industry “will see a 15% growth in the number of jobs created.”
Obviously, that’s a problem for our friends at Trane, who rely on the next generation of technicians to help them maintain the world’s heating and cooling systems.
In response to these tricky dynamics, Trane asked us to create a video targeting young prospective technicians with a couple years of experience as well as high schoolers (and their parents) who might be looking for a different path to a secure and rewarding career.
Develop a short video that dispels the myth of commercial techs as “wrench monkeys” who move from cavernous mechanical room to cavernous mechanical room, punching a clock as they go. The video would have to appeal to young men and women looking for a well-paying job — one that is safe, high-tech, and interesting, and that provides autonomy and a sense of purpose.
Trane asked us to execute a “day-in-the-life” video concept, with visuals focusing on safety equipment and technology and finishing with a testimonial from a current technician.
But, because we’re relentlessly obsessed with message-first marketing, we dug deeper to see if we could make a bigger impact.
We interviewed Trane technicians around the country and discovered a recurring theme: that because of the nature of their job (fixing the A/C on a sweltering day, or getting the heat back on so a store can re-open), these technicians are seen as heroes by their customers. Even better? These techs had real-life stories to back up this idea.
Working with that theme, we proposed an anthemic twist on the original concept, framing techs in a “hero” roll and emphasizing the sophistication and importance of the job.
We set the scene with a variety of locations — from a breakroom to a training room; from a baseball stadium to a corporate location — and let our interviews serve as inspiration for the script, right down to a group of preschoolers singing their appreciation to our tech.The result is a video with subtle lifestyle touches that puts two Trane heroes front and center. Prospective technicians see variety, autonomy, technology and interesting work within reach.
But did it hit the mark? Emily Fann, a Marketing Leader at Trane thinks so:
“People are loving the video. From the script-writing to the scene selection, it’s everything we wanted. It really captures our brand.”
The effectiveness of this video is a testament to good discovery and message-first marketing. Find out how a message-first approach can shape your outbound marketing; get in touch today!