Duck Commander Phil Robertson and his wife Miss Kay, the stars of Duck Dynasty, sliced some sweet potato pie and filled their audience in about Clayton Homes.
“What do I know about Clayton Homes?” Phil Robertson asked.
“I know they’re built right here in America.”
“And they know the difference between a house and a home,” Miss Kay added.
So starts the first of what Clayton Homes President and CEO Kevin Clayton said will likely be many commercials that the popular reality TV stars will do for the Maryville-based manufactured home company.
“The kind of people who build our homes and who are our customers are exactly the kind of people they relate to,” Kevin Clayton said.
Clayton Homes has signed an agreement with Phil, Kay and Si Robertson from the popular A&E show.
The deal includes production of a 30-second TV spot that was run in seven markets, a contest in connection with the commercial in which seven winners got to visit the Robertsons in West Monroe, Louisiana, and an appearance by the three stars at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show in Tunica, Mississippi.
“We have some other stuff in the works, but nothing we can talk about yet,” said Brian McNew, head of the creative team at JAOPRO, the Knoxville-based advertising company that produced the commercial.
Kevin Clayton said the commercial was a test shot that aired in Raleigh, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky, Charleston, South Carolina, and other markets but not in Knoxville.
Duck Dynasty, which premiered on A&E in 2012, was the network’s most-watched show at its season finale in April. According to the network, the finale drew 9.6 million viewers, breaking ratings records.
The show follows the Robertson family, who built a home-based operation making duck calls into a multi-million-dollar sporting business. The family consists of: Phil Robertson, the patriarch who developed the Duck Commander duck call in 1973; his wife, Kay, the matriarch known for her cooking talents from banana pudding to crawfish pie; his son Willie, who is now CEO of the company; and Willie’s wife, Korie; Willie’s brother Jase; and Phil’s brother Si, who is a bit of a loose cannon in the family operation.
The Clayton Homes arrangement is not with the producers of the Duck Dynasty show, but only with the three cast members, Kevin Clayton said. He declined to say how much the company is investing in its contract with the stars, but believes it will be well worth the price.
“We ran the first commercial in seven markets and the results were off the charts,” he said.
“And we do believe we will receive double-digit results on what we have invested.”
Rogan P. Oliver, director of marketing for JAOPRO, saw two key advantages to a company like Clayton Homes linking its advertising to a reality show like Duck Dynasty.
One is simply the immense popularity of the program. According to network figures, Duck Dynasty Season 3 finale reached 5.6 million people in the 25-54 age demographic, 5.5 million in the 18-49 demographic and 2.6 million people in the 18-34 demographic.
The wide range of viewers gives Clayton Homes a chance to reach people outside its normal market, but Kevin Clayton and Rogan P. Oliver both said the other key advantage is the close match between the demographics of the show and those of Clayton Homes customers.
Duck Dynasty features a close-knit, backwoods family full of colorful characters who get into conflicts, but there are no scandalous situations and no bad language. Members of the show make no bones about the importance of God and family. Each episode ends with the family at the dining table, bowing their heads in prayer.
“The whole thing is the content of the show. It’s just a clean program. You can sit down with your child or your grandparents and you don’t have to worry about the language or anything,” Rogan P. Oliver said.
Kevin Clayton said the values expressed in the program are shared by his company and its customers.
He noted that cast members received a very warm reception when they visited Clayton Homes’ building facility in Savannah, Tennessee, recently.
The employees thought they were getting a visit from Kevin Clayton to mark the completion of their 15,000th home, but were surprised to see Phil Robertson, Miss Kay and Uncle Si as well.
“Phil sat at one end of the table with about 200 of our team members and gave the blessing, just like on the show,” Kevin Clayton said.
The reality stars – who worked hard to build a business and who value family – share much with his customers, too, he said.
“Our customers are hardworking Americans and many live from paycheck to paycheck, but we know what they have accomplished and how hard they work, and we know how important faith and family is to them.”