New Communications Campaign Highlights Benefits Of Asphalt Roofing

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association kicks off a multi-year communications program targeted to builders, architects, roofing contractors, roof consultants, facilities managers and consumers.

WASHINGTON, DC September 30 - Asphalt roofing products are like a favorite pair of shoes. They work so well and feel so good that you forget they're even there!

In an effort to keep asphalt-roofing products fresh in the minds of builders, architects, roofing contractors, roof consultants, facilities managers, and anyone who specifics roofing products for their clients, ARMA is launching a new communications campaign that will no doubt catch the eye of these very astute audiences.

"Have you seen what's up with asphalt roofing?" is the theme for the lively and whimsical series of print ads, targeted to professionals who recommend both steep-slope and low-slope asphalt roofing products for residential and commercial properties. The campaign, developed by ARMA, and its advertising agency, The Weightman Group, employed a series of striking illustrations, rather than traditional product photographs, to showcase the attention-getting attributes of asphalt roofing shingles.

"Asphalt roofing products are the most widely used roofing material in North America and represent, on the steep-slope side, a very dynamic category," according to ARMA executive vice president Russ Snyder. "There are a lot of great things happening with our members' products. There are so many terrific asphalt roofing alternatives on the market today that create a very high-end look, yet have the advantage because of their durability, ease of maintenance and long life-cycle," he said.

Snyder added that high-end laminates - the rich colored, textured architectural shingles designed to look like wood, tile and slate - are now being used in many residences across the United States, and project an elegant look and feel that's become popular with homeowners today.

For the low-slope commercial market, modified bitumen and conventional built-up roofs are still the best performing systems, according to ARMA executive committee chair, Gregory Faherty, president, Siplast/Icopal, "New application methods and techniques have made installation safer and much easier for roofers, builders and contractors."

According to Marcia Hannah, chair of ARMA's communications committee, this will be the first time in twenty years the asphalt roofing industry has embarked on such an aggressive communications campaign.

"When we researched the trade, we found that the majority of the people in our survey were most familiar with the 3-tab asphalt shingles, but weren't as familiar with laminates and high-end laminate products which now command over 50% of the asphalt shingle market," Hannah said.

"And on the low-slope, commercial side, we realized we needed to do a better job in communicating the newest installation techniques, such as low-fuming and cold-applied applications. There are also environmentally-friendly reflective coatings, all of which are relatively new, yet will have a great industry impact," she said, noting that ARMA will continue to tout the long-term performance experience of conventional built-up roofing asphalt applications as well.

Hannah added that once the trade and consumers weigh the benefits, beauty and performance, and affordability of asphalt roofing products versus others, they "will realize asphalt is the only material they need to consider when choosing a roof."

The campaign begins in October 2002 and will continue throughout 2004.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is the North American trade association that represents the majority of the asphalt roofing industry's manufacturing companies and their raw material suppliers. Together these companies produce a variety of bituminous-based residential and commercial roofing systems, including asphalt shingles, roll roofing, built-up roofing systems, and modified bitumen-roofing systems. ARMA is committed to serving the asphalt-roofing industry and its consumers by providing the latest general and technical information on roofing materials, practices and issues; conducting research to ensure the continual improvement of product performance and value; and serving as the industry's voice in contributing technical data and information to building and code officials, regulatory agencies, and allied trade groups. For more information visit www. asphaltroofing.org.

The Weightman Group is the largest independently owned full-service agency in Philadelphia with annual capitalized billings of approximately $65 million. Weightman was founded and grew to prominence on a strong foundation of packaged goods advertising. As the agency expanded into many other service areas, its history in packaged goods grounded the agency in sound strategic thinking and aggressive brand support. Weightman's clients include TastyKake, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), the Center City District, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Ludowici Roof Tile, PermaGrain Products, Inc., Prevention Point Philadelphia, Capital Blue Cross, and WXPN.

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