Glenn Erath, San Diego’s best-known writer of advertising jingles, has marked the beginning of his 40th year of creating memorable branding campaigns. “And I’m only 112 years old,” said the 64-year-old funnyman.
Erath is the guitar-playing composer of quirky rhythmic ditties featuring an advertiser’s phone numbers that consumers can easily memorize.
His clients over the past four decades have included Corky’s Pest Control (“call 1-800-901-1102/We’re here for you”) and ASI Hastings (“1-800-481-COOL/ the White Glove Guys”), as well as Campland On The Bay (“Bring your doggie or your kitty/ The sunsets are so pretty”) and J&W Lumber (“You want decking, I do, too/Let’s go to J-and-W”). He said upcoming campaigns will feature Cash Call Mortgage and Dan Beer Real Estate.
“The goal is a catchy tune, a clever line, getting stuck in a listener’s mind,” Erath told Times of San Diego. “The key is to keep it simple and clever, not too complicated, and get the message across quickly. If a 7-year-old can walk away singing it, then you’ve got a winner.”
Erath admits he probably won’t be the next pop artist to sell a million albums. “Instead, the sweetest music to my ears is the sound of cash registers ringing for my clients,” he said.
In addition to jingle writing, Erath has served as marketing director at Corky’s Pest Control since 2010. His job includes coordinating media buys and social media and overseeing creative for outdoor and print, as well as billboards, radio and TV spots. In addition, for Corky’s TV commercial, Erath is the guy wearing the brown cockroach suit who gets blasted by company namesake Corky Mizer. “Hey, I’ll do practically anything for a laugh,” Erath said.
Since the mid-1980s, Erath also has performed at a couple thousand or more conventions, nonprofit galas, private parties, tributes and roasts. His customized comedy includes original songs and clean jokes that add levity and can turn a stuffy corporate culture into a hilarious routine. He’s been compared to Steve Martin with a guitar instead of a banjo.
“COVID has reduced the live appearances, but I hope to schedule two or three comedy gigs per month in the near future,” said Erath. “It will be nice to perform again in a live setting.” His website is www.GlennErath.net.
Erath got his start in 1981 as a frequent sidekick on “Hudson and Bauer,” a popular morning radio show heard on KFMB-AM for more than 20 years. Erath’s growing popularity convinced him to sell his insurance agency in 1998 to focus on advertising and stand-up.
“My wife wasn’t too sure about me leaving the insurance field back then,” joked Erath. “Even today, she doesn’t think I’m too funny even after three kids and 31 years of marriage. I blame it on my bald head and losing my Glen Campbell look.”
Erath says he’s optimistic about growth in the U.S. advertising industry in the coming year after a tumultuous 2020 pandemic year when expenditures were drastically reduced or outright cancelled.
“While it was a year most of us would like to forget, advertisers were forced to fast-forward creative changes that will result in greater results down the road,” he said. “I’m expecting to see advertising with a greater focus on creativity and memorability. As for me, I’ve got another 30 years or so of creativity waiting to be used. I’m still aiming to make it to 112.”
Universal Studios Exec Joins Zoo as Chief Marketing Officer
San Diego Zoo Global, the nonprofit that operates the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, has named David Miller as chief marketing officer.
A Zoo statement said Miller will lead the marketing department in planning, crafting and executing communications, sales, membership, licensing and sponsorship initiatives. The ultimate goal of these marketing efforts will be to drive guest engagement and education at the organization’s two wildlife sanctuaries, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and support communicating and furthering understanding of San Diego Zoo Global’s worldwide conservation efforts.
“I am excited and truly honored to join an organization such as San Diego Zoo Global that has such a noble mission of saving wildlife,” Miller said in a statement. “I look forward to being able to put my marketing and consumer communication experience towards promoting this singular objective that is so very important to the future of our planet.”
Previously, Miller served as senior VP, marketing communications and strategic partnerships (2009-2021) at Universal Studios Hollywood, where he directed content strategy and development for both traditional and digital marketing. He also managed corporate partnerships with media outlets and sports franchises and oversaw Universal’s intellectual property relationships and co-branding effort.
He also previously worked for two years (2006-2008) at Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, Calif. and four years (2002-2006) as director of marketing communications for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he led marketing, branding and outreach efforts for performances at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall. He graduated from Biola University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management with an emphasis in marketing.
“We are thrilled to welcome David to our team,” said Paul Baribault, president and CEO, San Diego Zoo Global. “San Diego Zoo Global is in the business of hope, hope for the future of wildlife. David’s expertise in engaging audiences and creating memorable experiences will be vital to maintaining that hope while building meaningful and lasting connections between people and wildlife, and grow even greater support from our guests in our commitment to save species worldwide.”
Krista Smith Joins Nuffer, Smith, Tucker
Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, a San Diego PR firm, has hired Krista Smith as an account executive. With a knowledge of California agriculture, Smith will support industry outreach for the California Citrus Pest & Disease Prevent Program, a NST client. She will focus on building partnerships with key allies, including growers, industry partners, research organizations, universities and farm bureaus, NST said.
Smith previously worked with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and coordinated collaboration with the region’s wineries and growers. She also spent the past four years in public affairs and communications at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she oversaw digital presence for the College of Liberal Arts and its 17 departments and programs.
She has a master’s degree in public policy with an agricultural emphasis. She also earned an agricultural communications minor as part of her bachelor’s degree in journalism.
“Effective agricultural communication requires a unique skill set, born of both knowledge of agriculture and a passion for farmers and ranchers,” said Teresa Siles, NST president and partner. “Her expertise will provide tremendous value to our food and agriculture partners, as they navigate issues, build on opportunities and engage with stakeholders.”
IABC San Diego Presents Webinar on ‘Up Your Game’
The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego chapter will host “Communication Strategy: Up Your Game,” a webinar from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 over Zoom.
Speaker will be Cason Lane of Cason Lane Strategic Communications. With 25 years of experience in internal and external communications, Lane’s consulting company has served such clients as KPMG, Honeywell, Wells Fargo and the U.S. Navy. Before founding his consultancy in 2007, Lane managed corporate communications with Jack in the Box. Earlier in his career, he worked in patient communications at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston and as a journalist in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
The webinar is part of IABC’s Communications Management Pro series. Attendees can qualify toward earning the IABC Communication Management Professional and Strategic Communication Management Professional certifications. IABC chapters in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and San Diego are jointly offering the Communications Management Pro series.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.