In 1993, Gary Sage set out to create a system for a better oil change. His idea was simple: create a machine that would eliminate oil spills on the ground or on himself. After some initial trial and error, the Sage Oil Vac system was born. Sage quickly realized that his invention would not only be cleaner for the average jobsite but environment as well. Not to mention it cut oil change times in half. Today, the ever-expanding Sage Oil Vac on-site fluid handling and maintenance products have made their way into a number of industries including oil and gas field service, heavy equipment fleet operators, generator maintenance, rental fleet companies and more.


The Problem

Knowing the history of Gary’s initial goal when he created the Sage system, it was well-established that one of the biggest jobsite pain points was the mess that comes from changing oil. Our challenge was straightforward — how can we promote one of the most sought-after benefits of Sage Oil Vac equipment: its cleanliness. We know Sage equipment reduces oil changing hassles, mess, expense and time — but getting customers to understand the main benefit (LESS MESS) and eliminate their pain point was our first priority.


We drew inspiration from Sage’s attendance at CONEXPO where customers continually shared how they needed a system to make changing oil faster, easier and of course… cleaner. Competitor research executed via trade publications relative to the Sage Oil Vac consumer audience showed us that their competitors were doing just what we expected — ads with boring equipment photos including lists of features and benefits. While that’s all fine and dandy… is this strategy really going to grab anyone’s attention in all the advertising noise? Probably not. It was time to go to the drawing board.


The Solution

The following Lessing-Flynn brainstorm sessions were filled with crazy ideas — but then someone said, “Hey, what if we made a guy in a tuxedo use some Sage equipment?” That was when we all sat up. It was ironic, creative and different. That day, “The Cleanest Man on the Jobsite” concept was born.


Not only did this take a more relaxed and playful approach, than many of their rough-and-tough competitors, it actually spoke to the primary benefit — ending the work day as clean as you started. With the headline and theme determined, applying the creative look was either going to make or break the concept. We knew tossing a guy in a tux out onto a jobsite was nutty — but, with a well-executed photoshoot and the right applications, we knew we could carry this campaign home.


The Results

This campaign launched in June and has continued to bring in big successes with high engagement and reach. You can find the “Cleanest Man” creative on Sage Oil Vac’s social media channels, in their paid media strategy, company swag and we even incorporated it into their ICUEE tradeshow booth. The campaign’s video “So Fresh, So Clean” also won a 2019 Gold Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation. We’re so excited to see so many opportunities for this campaign and as it continues to grow legs in other avenues, Lessing-Flynn will be ready to execute each tactic with the same quirky creativity from initial brainstorm.