An Ad Maestro’s Greatest Hits

Stan Richards is the mastermind behind the biggest independently owned ad agency in the nation. Weve gathered some of The Richards Groups greatest hits, as well as one that missed the mark.

Here are a dozen of the best-loved advertising campaigns that came from the shop of Stan Richards, the disciplinarian mastermind behind The Richards Group, the nation’s biggest independently owned ad agency. You may not know his name, but you certainly know his handiwork. Here are a dozen of his greatest campaigns—plus one that missed the mark.

Client: Orkin Campaign: Big Bugs Tagline: Keeping Pests in Their Place Year launched: 2008 Impressions: The most viewed video on The Richards Group's YouTube channel. Conceit: Rodents and big bugs make themselves at home in your absence. Punch line: “You … were not supposed to be back until Sunday.”

Client: Motel 6 Year launched: 1986 Campaign: We’ll Leave the Light on for You Conceit: Tired travelers can count on a welcome any time of day or night. Bragging rights: The ad campaign launched The Richards Group onto the national stage and raised Motel 6’s previously flagging revenue to record heights. Within the first two years occupancy rates were nearly 74 percent, a 7 percent increase from 1986.

Client: Corona Campaign: Change Your Whole Latitude Year launched: 1996 Conceit: Attractive couples on sandy beaches wordlessly enjoy a cold Corona. Bragging rights: By 1997, Corona Extra has been the No. 1 Mexican beer in the world—for 15 consecutive years.

Client: The Home Depot Campaign: More Saving. More Doing. Year launched: 2009 Conceit: Home improvement ads that appealed to the budgeting market’s desire to do more while spending less. Bragging rights: The Richards Group beat out Omnicom Group’s GSD&M ad agency in Texas and WPP Group’s JWT in NY for the $580 million account.

Client: Chick-fil-A Campaign: Eat Mor Chikin Year launched: 1995 ROI: Sales increase from about $500 million to over $3 billion since the launch of the campaign. Conceit: Cows are on a clandestine ad campaign to wean people from beef. Claim to fame: There’s a tab dedicated to the bovines on Chick-fil-A’s page, and they also have their own humorous site, eatmorchikin.com, also made by The Richards Group.

Client: The Salvation Army Campaign: Doing the Most Good Year launched: 2005 Conceit: When bad things happen, the godly people of the Salvation Army will help. Great tag: “We combat natural disasters with acts of God.” Bragging rights: The Richards Group gained the $7.6 million Salvation Army account without having to go through review.

Client: Wolf Campaign: With Wolf You Can Year launched: 2008 Conceit: Wolf’s top of the line cooking appliances can raise your cooking to a higher level. FYI: Wolf’s parent company, Sub-Zero, is also a client of The Richards Group.

Client: Georgia Power Campaign: Sniff Out Savings Year launched: 2009 Conceit: A fictitious trainer has taught dogs to detect energy savings around your home. ROI: Since the launch of the campaign, more than 20,000 customers have sought energy audits online. Bragging rights: "Sniff Out Savings" won Best Overall Campaign in the 2011 E Source Utility Ad Awards Contest.

Client: Patron Campaign: Perfect Situations Year launched: 2010 Conceit: Patron is the perfect drink to serve in all kinds of friendly situations. Lucky break: Patron increased its ad budget 10 percent around the time of this campaign, while similar companies cut budgets 10 to 30 percent.

Client: Sub-Zero Campaign: Respect the Food Year launched: 2007 Conceit: Sub-Zero freezers make food look incredibly luscious. Respect the Earth: Sub-Zero ranked sixth in a survey of the Top 10 Green Brands in 2007.

Client: QuikTrip Campaign: Think Quik Year launched: 2010 Conceit: No one has any time, but you can still fit in a meal by visiting a QuikTrip convenience store for some fresh food made in QT kitchens. Impressions: The “Homework” ad in this campaign is the second most viewed video on The Richards Group's YouTube channel.

Client: Fruit of the Loom Campaign: Music Video Year launched: 2005 Conceit: In a music video parody, men in produce costumes sing with unselfconscious enthusiasm about underwear. Deadpan lyrics: “I don’t care what you want to wear down there, because I’ve got everything you need.” If you want more: The Fruit Guys even have their own interactive site, also made by The Richards Group, FruitGuyFans.com.

Client: Summer’s Eve Campaign: Hail to the V Year launched: 2011 Conceit: Talking hands of different ethnicities stand in as attitude-filled vaginas, who demand some TLC. Unintended consequence: The Web videos were pulled after a week, but not before pissed off bloggers accused the ads of being not just sexist but racist as well. The bright side: The tagline, “Hail to the V,” lives on in less anatomically suggestive ads. — Caitlin Berens

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