Friday, June 06, 2008

Which Plumber Would You Choose?

This is an advertisement at the corner of Victoria and Margaret Streets in Kitchener, Ontario:



On the left: Mike the Plumber, with a Christian cross replacing the "t" in "the".

On the right: TIger Plumbing, with (apparently) no religious references in their advertisement.

I'd definitely choose Tiger Plumbing. It doesn't matter to me one whit what religion my plumber is; what I care about is how good he or she will do their job, how quickly they can come, and how reasonable their prices are. But I definitely wouldn't choose anyone who explicitly announces their religion in their ad, either, because that suggests an unhealthy preoccupation with their creed, not to mention the insinuation that they are somehow more reliable/honest/reputable simply because they adhere to some particular religion.

13 comments:

MZ said...

Too bad it wasn't Lion Plumbing.

Jinno said...

Gotta disagree with you there. I'd just make it a point to set out a bunch of pagan symbols and make it as non-Christian as possible to torture the guy. His advertisement references the fact that he's licensed, so there's skill involved. He's insured, so there's no liability on me, and certified, so once again meets requisite skill requirements.

Petty differences on religion are not anything that would truly go into my purchasing decision. No matter how much I like tigers.

Unsympathetic reader said...

I'd go with whichever got a good rating on Angie's List. But assuming I had no references, probably Tiger. I've seen too many people use bibles and flags to hide behind.

Now an established Amish workman, I'd hire almost any day. But I don't think they advertise with flags and crosses.

Anonymous said...

Lion plumbing "The king of all plumbers".

M@ said...

A couple of years ago, when Mike was zip-tying his signs on the local street lights and telephone poles, "Kirsten the Anti-Plumber" started hanging some signs too. I guess it didn't amount to much but it gives me hope.

Incidentally, we were recently looking for some house cleaners, and one firm repeatedly pointed out that they were Christians, so we'd KNOW they were honest. Guess who we didn't pick?

Seriously, ladies, the Evolvefish on the door should have been a clue...

Jack said...

I'd go with Mike. Tigers have even less to do with plumbing than Jesus. And "licensed insured certified" is more convincing than "The Purrfect Choice!"

Eamon Knight said...

I'm sort of ambivalent on this kind of thing. On the one hand, I am opposed on principle to discrimination on the basis of religion -- *whichever* way it cuts. OTOH, Mike is explicitly making religion part of his pitch, ie. hoping you'll discriminate in his favour because of it, so ISTM I'm therefore free to discriminate against him if I find his ad sanctimonious and off-putting.

However, hard information on the past performance of both companies would probably override the above considerations.

csrster said...

Yes, like any reasonable person I'd have no problem employing a christian plumber but a lot of problems employing a plumber who thinks his christianity is a selling point.

A more interesting question, though, is how effective his advertising actually is. How many people (christian and non-christian) are put off by this kind of advertising and how many are pulled in? He's appealing to a very specific niche: not just "other christians" but "people gullible enough to believe that a self-proclaimed christian is the right person to choose for any job". How big a market is that?

csrster said...

Comparing their websites I'm almost tempted to go with the christian guy. Tiger Plumbing looks way too "corporate". When I call a plumber, I want a guy with his arse hanging out of his jeans. A guy like mike.

Badger3k said...

This sounds like that whole insular thing that some Christians have. They emphasize that their business is "Christ-Friendly" and there are people who will choose a Christian over a non-Christian, no matter what the qualifications. It's bigotry to me, but despite my initial disgust at such blatant - either arrogance or greed, I would look for who has a better reputation among businesses. I'd try to avoid the customers, especially if any refer to the "nice Christian man". Blinders, and all that, you know.

This desire to throw their god into everything is a bit sickening to me. The other day, at my school, one of the teachers aides (I believe it was the aide that had the book) had a manual on "Credit Recovery - God's Way". I did not ask if this was educational (since this is what I currently work in) or if it was more marketing (as in "credit in heaven"). I was sufficiently disgusted that I did not ask, which I should have done.

Anonymous said...

I simply see Mike's ad as an appeal to Freemasonry. I'd avoid him for that reason.

Roberto Nicolinni said...

I would choose the best plumber for the job that i wanted . I would choose Kitchner plumber

Farrell Mackennon said...

The Christian angle certainly wouldn’t swing it with me and would in fact turn me off as there is no reason I can see for me to know what religion they are unless they intend to turn up with a bible and bore me to death with some preaching! However, they do have more of an idea on how to advertise than Tiger Plumbing who just try to grab your attention with a witty slogan and instead should be saying they are qualified and certified too.