The founders of Clockwork Home Services are no strangers to celebrity. John Young and Jim Abrams are often referred to as legends in the industry, especially among the thousands of contractors who have availed themselves of the duo’s business and marketing strategies. From the early days of Contractors Success Group in the 1980s, to industry consolidation at Service Experts in the 1990s, to the latest formation of Clockwork Home Services Inc., both Young and Abrams have left indelible marks on the home services industries, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical and a couple of others along the way.
Young and Abrams have been nothing if not aggressive in their business endeavors for decades. With three of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States to their credits, they will have the opportunity to challenge Hollywood celebrities on national television as they are scheduled to appear on Donald Trump’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
This will be one of the few times that contractors have been featured on national television in a positive light. Up until now, it has not been unusual to see a nationally televised sting of contractors in less than desirable circumstances. Those days appear to be over, especially for contractors in the Clockwork Home Services family.
Young and Abrams landed spots on the show after “Apprentice” producers found out about the unique franchising concepts offered through One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and Mister Sparky, an electrical contractor franchise. These franchise brands will be occupying center stage as Young and Abrams devise a celebrity challenge for a national audience of more than 8 million viewers.
How does somebody get to appear across the boardroom table with “The Don”?
Denise Swafford, a Clockwork spokesperson said, “While our marketing braintrust was strategizing and creating our national branding and advertising campaigns, we came across the profile of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ viewers. The 8 million-plus loyal fans of the show are a natural fit with our target demographic. In addition, ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ producers found our brands very interesting.”
Young said, “Our three franchise brands are going to be the fabric of the two-hour episode. Our unique challenge was presented to about a dozen celebrities and one person is fired every episode. Each of the contestants represents a charity they are involved with, and they are quite serious and focused about winning for their respective charities.”
As to some of the memorable moments for the duo during their first television shoot:
“There was something very interesting that occurred; I may be the most hated man in America after the show airs,” laughed Young, recalling the filming.
Abrams made an unexpected connection upon his first meeting with Trump - Abrams would only say that the two have something in common. No one at Clockwork or NBC will reveal any more than that - tune in to find out the rest of that story. The show begins airing its new season in early March.
Apprentice TakeawaysCertainly Young and Abrams are no apprentices to the HVAC, plumbing, electrical or roofing industries, but how did the acting go? Most of the acting during the show is actually unscripted, according to Young. With regard to his and Abrams’ acting careers, Young had this to say, “Nerve racking. It’s one thing to get in front of a few thousand people to talk, but it’s not that easy to deliver even just a few lines exactly the way the producers want them delivered.”
“We had quite a bit of conversation with the celebrities as we described the franchise challenge, but it will be interesting to see what hits the cutting room floor,” said Young.
What was it like to meet with Donald Trump? “Trump is a master at leverage; he has perfected the art of connecting aspects of his businesses,” said Young.
With regard to the creative development of the show, Young said, “There was a lot of education going back and forth, as we learned about their process and they learned about ours. It was fascinating to witness how they bring so many people together with a variety of job descriptions, and they are all focused on one really great accomplishment. It’s like a machine.”
The conversations with show staff and celebrity talent may have reaped unexpected benefits. It looks as though several franchisees will be getting phone calls from customers in need.
Though Young and Abrams have had a considerable number of accomplishments in their own right, prolonged acting careers may not be at the top of their lists. But it’s a sure bet that One Hour, Benjamin Franklin, and Mister Sparky franchise owners will appreciate the top-of-mind awareness that is soon to be created via the “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Clockwork Home Services has plans to coordinate a national advertising campaign surrounding the program, according to Swafford.
Contractors interested in being a part of this historic opportunity should call 866/847-0469 to find out if areas are still available.