Orkin Commercials From the Fake Out Campaign

In 2000, Orkin created one of the most talked-about campaigns in advertising history.

Spoof of a Fabric Softener Commercial

fakeout

Orkin's Fake Out campaign was one of the most talked-about
campaigns in advertising history, shocking viewers as they realized
that the cockroach crawling across their television screens was not real.

The first nine seconds of the commercial are filled with serene music, a foreground of freshly laundered towels on a clothesline and a background of scenic mountains in an apparent fabric softener commercial. At the six-second mark, a very live-looking cockroach crawls across the television screen. It isn’t until the 15-second mark when The Orkin Man appears over the fake fabric softener commercial that the viewer realizes there is not a real cockroach crawling on the television.

“Hi there. Got bugs? Well, once they get into your house, there’s only one way to get them out. Call the man – The Orkin Man,” the narrator says, as The Orkin Man sprays the cockroach, causing it to fall off the screen.

Viewers immediately responded to the commercial, shocked that the cockroach was not real. Because of the response, Orkin created the “Orkin Got Me” contest and invited viewers to describe their responses to the commercial via postcard or by logging on to Orkin’s website. The winner of the contest received a new television set.

To continue the momentum, Orkin created more Fake Out commercials the following year, pretending to advertise new products and shows:

Spoof of a Perfume Commercial

This ad pretended to sell a perfume called “Pegasus.” 

Fake Detective Show Commercial

This commercial promoted a new (but fake) detective show starring Gary Coleman.

Just when viewers figured out the subject of the advertisement, life-like pests crawled across their television screens, and then The Orkin Man appeared to control the fake pests. Orkin hosted another “Orkin Got Me” contest for these commercials while they aired.

For more information about Orkin’s innovative advertising campaigns, visit Orkin’s Past Commercials.