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Trane Proves Its Unstoppability

Trane proves just how hard it is to stop its HVAC products in a new advertising campaign that takes the equipment beyond its natural limits.

Taking a cue from the brand’s long-standing tagline, “It’s Hard to Stop a Trane,” new television commercials from agency Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis pit furnaces and air conditioners against explosives, ignited gasoline and an airborne bus. “It’s all about breathing life into something and making a claim entertaining,” Dave Damman, chief creative officer at Carmichael Lynch, tells Marketing Daily. “But it does come from that tagline, which is part and parcel of who they are and who they have been.”

In the commercials, two “Mythbusters”-esque technicians test durability through (silently) devising tests. In one commercial, for instance, one technician operates a baseball pitching machine, putting dents in the air condition (simulating, one assumes, hail). The other technician, meanwhile, crafts a “ball” made out of C4 explosive, which is then fired at the unit. (The unit does not withstand the final punishment.) In another commercial, the technicians jump a 30-foot bus onto the top of an air conditioner. Again, the unit does not survive.

The commercials were shot by The Bandito Brothers, who also recently released the Hollywood film “Act of Valor,” which featured actual Navy Seals in action sequences. In the vignettes, the units were actually rigged with C4 explosive, had an actual bus land on top of them and were, in fact, ignited with gasoline, Damman says. “We didn’t want to put any false claims out there,” Damman says about not having the products survive the tests. “We got the idea that we created these things, and we should be the one to test how far to take them.”

The agency specifically set out to create a campaign that would be memorable to consumers, many of whom don’t consider what brand of furnace or air conditioning unit they’re going to buy until their current unit is broken. “It’s kind of an important thing, but it only comes once every 15 years,” he says. “We wanted to add some firepower to what everyone in the category knows is our strength, which is reliability.”

In addition to the commercials, which will run online and on home improvement programming, the campaign will also include an online element through which consumers will be able to suggest other “tests” for future efforts.” Hopefully we can bring those to life for the whole world to see,” Damman says.

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