Ray offers help to ‘Unhandy’ Canadians

According to Statistics Canada, Canada currently faces an acute shortage of both electricians and plumbers. Which might explain why a growing number of people who’ve watched a 10-minute YouTube video think they’re ready to take on ambitious projects, usually with predictably disastrous results.

The truth is that a large number of Canadians are profoundly “Unhandy,” which is both the name and basis of a new campaign for St. John’s based Mr. Rooter and Mr. Electric. Developed by Ray Creative Agency, the regional campaign launched on June 19, and is running for six weeks across social media, out-of-home, transit, digital and radio.

Today’s DIY culture, which features countless videos offering “easy” fixes and “insane” tricks, has instilled a false belief in even the most unhandy homeowners that they’re capable of tackling projects best left to the professionals, said Josh Tucker, account director and business development lead with Ray.

“Plumbing and electrical work aren’t DIY projects, and let’s face it—most of us are unhandy,” he said. “Yet homeowners are encouraged to pick up the tools and give it a go.”

The campaign’s social ads rely on found footage of home DIY projects gone disastrously wrong, such as a major plumbing leak that causes a ceiling to collapse, and a botched electrical job that sparks a fire. They drive to the Unhandy Hotline (1-877-DIY-FAIL), which serves as a contact point for Mr. Rooter and Mr. Electric.

While the visuals are simultaneously amusing and wince-inducing, they’re also intended to show the danger of taking on projects best left to the professionals, get people to accept their “unhandiness,” and trust the businesses for their plumbing and electrical needs.

Radio ads, meanwhile, feature people making calls to the unhandy hotline, where they demonstrate a potentially serious misunderstanding of what it takes to fix a leaky water heater (by turning off the “keg pour thingy”), or their belief that replacing Christmas tree lights constitutes replacing old wiring.

There’s also a dedicated website, Unhandy.ca, which features a quiz to determine if someone is unhandy, and invites people to share their own disastrous DIY story.

“We can all relate to feeling unhandy,” said Tucker. “Whether it’s being shamed by a handy in-law, attempting—and failing—to fix an issue, or being the proud owner of a never-ending repair. We believe there’s no shame in being ‘Unhandy,’ and it’s about time we accept and embrace it.”

Chris Powell