a record win streak, a record sales month, and a great ad campaign.

“We’ve met with a ton of ad agencies, we’re sick of it.”
Bill Barr
Universal Windows Direct

In March of 2012, the Cleveland-based home improvement company, Universal Windows Direct (UWD) was looking for a new ad agency. They needed help on several fronts.

pain points.

advertising goals & consistency

It’s easy to advertise for advertising’s sake, but that doesn’t guarantee success. UWD needed a strategy featuring concise advertising goals and consistent messaging.

brand identity

When it comes to home improvement, Cleveland is a crowded market. UWD needed to set themselves apart and drive their message to the right people.

lead generation

The UWD business model relied on leads and demos for their sales team. They needed return on investment, not just branding, and overpaying wasn’t in the budget.

selecting the right agency

When it comes to their products and their advertising team, UWD doesn’t settle for mediocre. With hard-to-impress team leadership, UWD had turned down nearly a dozen potential partners. None of them were the right fit.

"None of this would have been possible without the team at Mean Joe. Their creativity and experience helped grow our business."
Universal Windows Direct

the game plan

From our conversations with UWD, the Mean Joe team identified several core objectives:

  • Build Consumer Trust with UWD
  • Increase Customer Engagement
  • Bring in New Leads
By reaching the Right People, with the Right Message, the Right Number of Times, we believed that Universal Windows Direct would become a household name. To achieve these objectives, the Mean Joe team executed the following tactics:
  • Use Radio Endorsements and TV Infomercials to raise Brand Awareness & Increase Consumer Confidence.
  • Leverage Sponsored Articles to share the Universal Windows Direct Story through long-form copy.
  • Partner with Local Cleveland Icons to foster Community Relationships.
  • Craft an iconic Jingle to improve Brand Recognition and keep UWD top of mind.

fan favorites

"Afterall, everyone trusts Joe Thomas, he protects our QB’s blindside.”

Our research showed that fans not only have loyalty to their teams but loyalty to the brands their team supports. To make UWD part of that relationship, we partnered with Bryan Hoyer and Joe Thomas of the Cleveland browns. Working with these Cleveland fan favorites, MJA produced videos, billboards, and print ads, positioning UWD as a brand fans could trust.

Thanks to Bryan Hoyer and Joe Thomas, the UWD partnership with the Browns had taken off. Brand awareness, consumer confidence, and lead generation were all on the rise. But we knew we could do more. 

That’s when we crafted our next play, a partnership with the Cleveland Indians. Using a combination of ticket giveaways, TV visible signage, and an in-stadium booth, we created more ways for Cleveland sports fans to invite UWD into their homes.

“I'll work every angle I possibly can to make this happen because that would be really cool.”

In 2016, Universal Windows Direct was celebrating their 15th Anniversary. The season before, the Cleveland Indians had gone on a remarkable run with a 14-game win streak. The timing was too perfect to pass up. 

To celebrate, we partnered with the Indians for a special deal. If customers shopped at UWD in July and the Indians won 15 games in a row, then UWD would cover the full cost of every customer’s purchase. 

This campaign turned the usually slow month into a record-high for sales. For the 15th game, Mean Joe arranged a watch party at Progressive Field for everyone who had purchased a project from UWD. 

Those lucky homeowners watched as the Cleveland Indians won the game, set a record, and paid for their home improvement projects. The story was covered by ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, sparking national news coverage for the next two days and several consecutive months of record-breaking sales.


Interview on NPR

the results

The Mean Joe media strategy set UWD on a new path. Over the course of our partnership, UWD grew from an $8 million company with one Cleveland location to $50 million with around corporate-owned locations and 30 licensed dealers across the country. While helping a company grow nearly 7 times its size is something any agency would be proud of, nothing compared to the thanks we received from the UWD leadership for all of our hard work.

mean joe playbook.

Download our free playbook to get a feel for our strategy.