Austin plumbing company's commercials catch the eye of late-night talk show host John Oliver
AUSTIN, Texas - A local plumbing company’s creative commercials, spoofing popular films, have caught the eye of late-night talk show host John Oliver.
For four years now, Austin-based Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning has been going cinematic in their advertising, from "The Terminator" ("Toiletnator") to "Star Wars" to "Napoleon Dynamite." The latter earned a shout-out from star Jon Heder.
But Sunday night, that spotlight got a lot brighter. Oliver devoted an entire segment of his HBO show, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," to showing and gushing over several of the ads.
"I mean, that's just very good," Oliver said, referring to "The Toiletnator."
The attention left Radiant co-founder Brad Casebier, flushed.
"We’re blown away. I mean this is what we wanted, but we never actually thought it would happen," said Casebier.
The idea for the blockbuster branding started flowing years ago, with movie-inspired window displays at their old location on Lamar, from "Harry Potty and the Deathly Bowels" to, of course, "Game of Thrones."
"I just would change the toilet display every few weeks, and movies were just a fun thing to play off of," said Casebier.
The displays eventually turned into videos, with a small team producing, filming and editing them. The props are nothing fancy, and the actors are all Radiant employees.
"It’s just the camaraderie, and being able to join in and make something fun," said Drain Sales & Service Manager Kevin Kalin, who has appeared in a few of the commercials.
"Dune" spoof "Toilet Dune" was one of Oliver’s favorites, along with "Halloween," leading Oliver to pose a challenge to Radiant on his Sunday show.
"That you agree to make your next movie commercial inspired by the film, in this envelope, sight unseen," said Oliver, holding up a sealed envelope.
If they do, Oliver will debut their new ad on air, and donate $10,000 to the Central Texas Food Bank. So, in another spoof, called "On the John with John Oliver", Casebier gave his answer.
"John, we accept this challenge," said Casebier in the video, posted to social media on Tuesday. "We will proceed to make your ad."
There will be no shortage of actors for the new commercial.
"Everybody’s fighting for it. Everybody says I want it I want it," said Kalin.
However, the title is still a mystery.
"A lot of people are asking, like, ‘are you worried about the movie?’" said Casebier, who says he’s not worried at all. "[Oliver] doesn’t want a bad commercial he has to air, so he’s going to pick something fun."