History in the Making: Plumbers, Electricians, HVAC Contractors in Positive Light on Top-rated Television Show byMikeMURPHY T 06 he founders of Clockwork Home Services areno strangers to celeb- rity. John Young and Jim Abrams are oft en referred to as legends in the in- dustry, especially among the thousands of contractors who have availed themselves of the duo’s business and marketing strat- egies. From the early days of Contractors Success Group in the 1980s, to industry consolidation at Service Experts in the 1990s, to the latest formation of Clockwork Home Services Inc., both Young and Abrams have left indelible marks on the home services industries, including HVAC, plumbing, electri- cal, and a couple of others along the way. Young and Abrams have been nothing if not aggressive in their business endeavors for decades. With three of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States to their cred- its, theywill have the opportunity to challenge Hollywood celebrities on national television as they are scheduled to appear on Donald Trump’s “Th e Celebrity Apprentice.” Th is will be one of the few times that con- tractors have been featured on national televi- sion in a positive light. Up until now, it has not been unusual to see a nationally televised sting of contractors in less than desirable circumstances. Th ose days appear to be over, especially for con- tractors in the Clockwork Home Services family. Young and Abrams landed spots on the show aft er “Apprentice” producers found out about the unique franchising concepts offered through One Hour Heating and Air Condi- tioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mister Sparky, an electrical contractor fran- chise. Th ese franchise brands will be occupy- ing center stage as Young and Abrams devise a celebrity challenge for a national audience of more than8 million viewers. How does somebody get to appear across the boardroom table with “The Don”? Denise Swaff ord, a Clockwork spokesper- son said, “While our marketing braintrust was strategizing and creating our National Brand- ing and Advertising Campaigns, we came across the profi le of “Th e Celebrity Apprentice” viewers.Th e 8 million plus loyal fans of the show WINTER 2010 • THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR “We had quite a bit of conversation with the celebrities as we described the franchise challenge, but it will be inter- esting to see what hits the cutting room fl oor,” said Young. What was it like to meet with Donald are a natural fi t with our target demographic. In addition, “Th e Celebrity Apprentice” producers found our brands very interesting.” Young said, “Our three franchise brands, One Hour, Benjamin Franklin, and Mister Sparky are going to be the fabric of the two-hour episode. Our unique challenge was presented to about a dozen celebrities, and one person is fi red every episode. Each of the contestants represents a charity they are involvedwith, and they are quite serious and focused about win- ning for their respective charities.” As to some of the memorable moments for the duo during their fi rst television shoot: “Th ere was something very interesting that occurred; I may be the most hated man in America aft er the show airs,” laughed Young, recalling the fi lming. Abrams made an unexpected connection upon his fi rst meeting with Donald Trump — Abrams would only say that the two have some- thing in common. No one at Clockwork or NBC will reveal anymore than that—tune in to find out the rest of that story. Th e show begins airing its new season in early March. APPRENTICE TAKEAWAYS Certainly Young and Abrams are no appren- tices to the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or roofi ng industries, but how did the acting go? Most of the acting during the show is actually unscripted according to Young. With regard to his and Abrams’ acting careers, Young had this to say, “Nerve racking. It’s one thing to get in front of a few thousand people to talk, but it’s not that easy to deliver even just a few lines exactly the way the producers want them delivered.” Trump? “Trump is a master at leverage; he has perfected the art of connecting as- pects of his businesses,” said Young. With regard to the creative development of the show, Young said, “Th ere was a lot of education going back and forth, as we learned about their process and they learned about ours. It was fascinating to witness how they bring so many people together with a variety of job de- scriptions, and they are all focused on one really great accomplishment. It’s likea machine.” Th e conversations with show staff and ce- lebrity talent may have reaped unexpected ben- efi ts. It looks as though several franchisees will be getting phone calls from customers in need. Th ough John Young and Jim Abrams have had a considerable number of accomplishments intheir own right, prolonged acting careers may not be at the top of their lists. But it’s a sure bet that One Hour, Benjamin Franklin, and Mister Sparky franchise ownerswill appreciate the top- of-mind awareness that is soon to be created via the “Th e Celebrity Apprentice.” Clockwork Home Services has plans to co- ordinate a national advertising campaign sur- rounding the program that will burn the name, logo, and message of the franchises’ respective brands into the minds of every man, woman, and child in the marketplace, according to Swafford. National advertising experts have shared with Clockwork executives that they fully ex- pect the One Hour, Benjamin Franklin, and Mister Sparky brands will become as com- monly known as Starbucks or McDonald’s. Contractors interested in dominating their market and being a part of this historic oppor- tunity should call 866-847-0469 to find out if areas are still available. TSC Starbucks® is a registered trademark of Star- bucks Corporation. McDonald’s® is a registered trademark of McDonald’s Corporation.