Ed Gibbs

Interview by
Published on
May 18, 2022

In this episode...

Have you ever felt like you were at the right time? It’s a universal assist when everything falls perfectly into place, and you’re exactly where you need to be. Mr. Motorkote Ed Gibbs speaks of many instances where he was just at the perfect place at the perfect time - reading two 30-second commercials that launched his radio career, meeting Kenny Rogers, and his role in the massive launch success of Motorkote all those years ago. Sit back and relax this Friday with Life By The Mile as we talk to Mr. Motorkote about marketing, radio, and lucky breaks that turn into life-changing moments.

Ed Gibbs

Ed Gibbs is SVP of Marketing at Mr. Motorkote.


he said well you know come up and let's talk and we'll do maybe do an hour and um he said you know we'll see how it goes so i do the first hour i get up ready to leave and he he goes where are you going he said the lines are loaded everybody's got questions they wanted to know about motor code what was it so i stayed the whole five hours that started a relationship that lasted for 18 years

we're here at the mid-america trucking show it is the 50th anniversary we get incredible guests and the last one that we're doing on day two is ed gibbs you know what i love i love that shirt because it's got it right there on the left mr motor coat yep but what can i tell you i've had it on there for 18 years amazing now let's get to this part first for those that don't know on our audio platforms podcast platforms and youtube channel tell everybody what motor code is well motorcoat is produces what's called a hyperlubricant okay it's described as an added but it really isn't it's america's number one friction reducer okay it only reduces friction and anything it touches or soaks into mostly metal and so it makes everything no matter what it is run better smoother lasts longer and gee whiz when you reduce friction one of the great things you get today is better gas mileage exact exactly now i i love history okay i love history ed so tell us the history of the company it was invented by a phd chemist out of michigan state university he went on the road selling it he made up the name motor coat with a k it's motor with the k-o-t-e i and uh it was purchased by a group out of columbus ohio from him and i was brought in as the head of marketing okay and i'm my background is marketing okay new york chicago uh played played the big leagues yes i can yeah piece of straight yeah and um i didn't like the name to start with i thought it was stupid you did yeah but uh we began to figure out a way to kind of work it in and when the internet stuff got really strong instead of describing it as motor code i changed it to its motor k-o-t-e okay okay so the so the name kind of changed i i was writing commercials for our first radio broadcast okay and we were in the studio as you know and everything and i'm direct with the director and i've got a professional actor who's reading my scripts isn't that something and uh so the director i look at each other and i said you know he hasn't got the exact thing right you could just tell i wasn't right i couldn't i couldn't explain it but it wasn't right the just the way the the way he ended and started sentences weren't right and his pace was wrong so the director said well go read it so i can tell you i can get the sense right he'll understand what you're talking about i go into the booth you know mic up i i read yeah two 30-second commercials and they say that's it i walk out and the director looks at me says you gotta do this right so at that moment i became mr motorcoach that what does that feel like i mean i didn't know i didn't know what it meant at the time but but shortly after that i was asked to go on wlw out of cincinnati yeah which is a big 50 000 wattage station and the overnight show starring steve summers and he said you know come up and let's talk and we'll do maybe do an hour yeah and um he said you know we'll see how it goes so i do the first hour and get up ready to leave and he goes where are you going he said the lines are loaded everybody's got questions yeah they want to know about they wanted to know about motor code what was it yeah so i stayed the whole five hours that started a relationship that lasted for 18 years isn't that something and so then then it became this situation you can't talk about products for five hours a night right and what are you going to do yeah but you but you were so committed and radio was a natural thing for you right i guess i mean i never know until i got this your mr motor coach so i i decided to say okay let's let's sit down think about this i want this guy who's driving this truck to be able to understand my product and what's the most important thing about him for five hours i'd say it's staying awake that's good and so i said what am i going to do to keep them awake right so i thought what did you do i started doing trivia and riddles okay so we we did the riddles and it was it was a huge hit and i figured this will last a year 18 years ago 5 000 riddles later and still doing it what what about the the trivia give me as an example of a trivia oh my gosh yeah i mean you you're you're filled with them so give me a call you notice i don't the funny thing is i write most of them and then i forget them okay that's fine because the because the the uh if i start trying if i start remembering this and they're in sections of that relate to to certain it's in your hard drive up here right so then i forget them the the the the one question that was the first one i asked is how how do you make one go away

i had a g to it gone gone gone that was the first question okay now now let me let me ask you this through the 18 years you've gotten to know a lot of drivers right yeah what's changed in the 18 years in the industry uh well basically what's kind of interesting is the drivers that would call in the show are lifetimers they this is their world this is not a job this is their life this is what they eat sleep and do all the time now by the way that started a sequence of events for me we'll talk talk about that uh where i i started out on wlw but then uh i went to red eye okay out of dallas yeah sure for nine years really what'd you do there i i did the riddles what happens is you start doing the riddles and every time you would do the riddle that would be followed by a question or a question about motor code or a question of sometimes about life okay you know and so when we didn't become a radio personality we became friends because i decided i was gonna stick with you know that driver was gonna stay awake and i'm going to help him right so that's a whole different mindset well it's complete well and at that point you're not a program you're a partner you're you're come a partner you're a partner with them and uh and and there's a connection that's deeper than just just i'm listening to a program so what happens is then i then i go to red eye well steve summers has a certain delivery that i would learn and we became obviously we're like we are now across from each other yeah and i and i didn't know what i was doing so i was studying all the time trying to learn from him and you know the hands and does and butts had to be out of my vocabulary right and all that stuff had to happen and so then i go to red eye and and eric is like bang bang bang bang bang bang bang short sentences right all the time right i can't keep up with him but after the first show i look at him and i'm going you know i i don't know what i'm doing i'm this is totally different and he looked at me and smiled like you're not going to be back right you know well but yeah it's not always that simple yeah so i went home and practiced and i listened to him and i learned that i could i could snap off sentences as short as his work right and that and then i would make sure that that i got up for that pace so now we're you know this is going on overnight i fly you know i fly to dallas i i go to bed i eat dinner go to bed get up at 10 o'clock do run throughs for myself and i'm ready to be on the air at midnight central time now i'm not eating right time right and so i'd be on there i was only on there for three hours a night not five so then uh somebody said well they're starting the show in nashville this marcia campbell's gonna be on overnight okay and she's part of the grand old opry she dances on the grand opera and we need a sponsor i go to nashville i become we open her show you know become her sponsor and she's totally different she's music based right she's she's a she's a woman obviously yeah her whole pace and style is completely different but you but you had to learn to adapt i had jobs right right i had to learn to write trivia questions that related to nashville right it had to be music right to be it had to be about about the nashville sound right so i had to learn that and write those so then uh a really great show out of detroit on saturday mornings is a as a car fix-it show yeah and this is a take-off of the the car that's the show that used to be on car talk car talk yeah i used to listen yeah i mean that's what it was to take off on that turns out these two guys i i worked in toledo ohio they're from toledo and and they work for champion spark plug i had an agency in toledo and that was my client yeah so i knew them yeah so we had toledo's the glass city yeah right right well it was it was okay we're both old enough to remember that toledo and i know that they're they're the mud heads right right correct yeah that that those are a couple of bits of trivia there i'm trying to let you know they used to call them hopeless chickens but that's okay okay that's a rabbit we won't chase right now right so so go back to this though so we're doing i have to learn how to do that show and it's very technical and it's on saturday mornings i drive detroit on saturday some friday night get up early on saturday morning go in and and steve stewart who is the the the host of the show and the manager of the station at the time is this old-fashioned um slapstick insults yours to your face okay person okay and he does that on the show okay so he open so all of a sudden i now have an opening i have music yeah and it's it's the story it's the song from the tv show mr ed that's my opening okay so i do that show for nine years now i'm still off and on but i'm still on that show i'll be on here next this next saturday saturday morning and uh it's a whole car show thing it's not truckers okay it's all about cars and it's all about one of our major two of the major clients that sponsor are o'reilly's and meyer which is in in the midwest and that's two of our biggest clients okay so i got to talk to i got to talk to that audience okay they listen right the home the home office for my of course yeah so they're listening so i for a i got to talk about that in their genre and can't screw up right you know and it's live so yeah you learn you learn i learned pacing from all these different people and practice and work and work very hard at it and um what's so interesting about what you've described thus far ed is that somehow the way god made you you're adaptable you're able to go into those audiences get a understanding of who you're speaking to who you're writing for well but the interesting thing i kept finding out is the trivia and riddles they're universal everybody gets hooked into them you know and so then uh the call-ins were everything all these are calling shows okay so the call-ins you mean when i was in detroit when i was in uh detroit i used to get a call from this woman who is she a regular caller regular caller she works at gm and you know what she's doing she's testing cars on the on the test track for gm okay she's a driver she's driving oh we're talking so she's driving while she's talking well she's testing yeah just like she's driving on the road okay she calls in all the time okay so and she's she's famous for this blueberry pie right well they all of a sudden we decide that they decide they want me to do this to introduce the new cars over in grand rapids michigan okay well she lives there what'd she bring to the show her blueberry pie that point i'm making is the fact that we're friends we're not god is so powerful you know it's relationships it's not transactions we're not we're not we're not talking about i don't talk about product we talk about you know what are kids doing see that but but that is the cement for relationships and uh i remember years ago i in my 20s i was a college professor they ought to refund the tuition because nobody knows anything in their 20s but i got to know a guy named garrison keillor i know him well yeah and uh and i actually had to follow him at a local event with 600 people where he was the first speaker and i was the second i was 24 years old and you can i can remember to the point i still feel it listening to him and then realizing you're up next oh yeah i mean that's interesting thing in nashville is is uh obviously i could go backstage during the performance because the radio show was on after the national performance yeah so we would like i brought my family down you know to to and i had a my daughter i think was 13 or 14 years old and she's sitting in the back talking to this really nice old man gray hair the beard the whole thing and they're just having this great conversation and i'm sitting there looking at it and i'm going i can't believe this and so she he leaves and he says you know one of the things i want to do while i'm here i want to meet mr mocha which is i i use the product and i and i and so she comes over and introduces him to me his name is kenny rogers

but that's the that's what this has turned into is if you have a family association right that happens to have a product that attached to it right oh by the way works right and it's and it's worked for a long time how old is this product yeah it's about 30 years old it's been it's been in the industry and we've driven it's been driven by professional truck drivers over two and a half billion miles that's a billion miles that's more than two trips to the moon and back that is just that is and it's still very goes very strong and once you become a motor coder you're in it for life it's so interesting and you know every company has a story i know i love that it's a bit of trivia and you i know you know it but i love the story of wd-40 yeah you know and uh and just other companies and how they started or you know colonel sanders and you know a lot of people don't know about him he actually shot a man yeah there was a guy that was trying to duplicate what he was doing selling chicken at a like a gas station and colonel sanders didn't like it and where he was from you just kind of put business in your old hands and he shot him oh my gosh yeah well we would get some pretty scary stories every now and then but uh is this overseas oh yeah it's all around the world it's it's it's everywhere and it's uh it's it's called motor code hyper lubricant which is what goes in the engine this this is the spray yeah the spray is

fanatical people just can't believe it uh it will it will it's a friction reducer right stand right you know you gotta you got a rusted bolt it'll free it you got something you that doesn't slide you want to slide it'll make it slide yeah and it it'll make old things new again i mean it goes in anti-clocks goodness it goes in you know literally thousands of places yeah so it brings back to life antiques right well and the other thing that happened in fire you talk about firearms oh my gosh it's phenomenal for farms we don't even have our own firearm product now that really is based on the spray but it has a little pinpoint needle on it so you can put it exactly where you want it also for fishing but uh you mean with your gear and all that it's just you got a precise application of a friction reducer and it just keeps working it'll keep working you know now what what's next for you in radio i don't know right now this whole the covered thing kind of turned it all upside down for me and i heart bought wlw and they they they stopped the steve summer show so he's over here doing a show that a competitor of ours who who happens to be good be good friends were good friends in the same area uh took up and he's doing doing uh you know a uh not a podcast but he's on a broadcast broadcast on youtube so i mean we there were times if you count the bounce there were times when we were talking to a hundred thousand people a night for five hours live and it took 45 minutes to get on the air i mean you'd have them queued up they'd be queued up and and the other thing is and they asked me from the very beginning do you want us to tell you what the what question they're going to ask them saying i said no i don't want to know i don't want to do anything because if if that if i did that that would that would that would sort of make the the the the the reality and trust of the product put in question right because i would know yeah which you would be jealous not to do you don't you don't want to do that and i don't no i want it cold you know i want exactly what i'm going to get and i'm going to i'm going to answer the question and we invented a testing machine which is right next door okay and from timken roller bearing and a test roller bearings under pressure you know timkin has a plant where i'm where our company is rutherfordton north carolina yeah all right yeah tempkin has a plant here so you can test these bearings and i and i i have my test motor code under under extreme pressure and i've said i'll test anybody and for 18 years people have come and tried to get me they tried to catch me they've tried they've made special brews and brought it to me or they unfortunately they bring other people's products from around the show and i've kind of tried to stay away from that because i don't think that's fair right those people are making a living and they have right they have their own product that they believe in and i'm not going to go up against them right so we don't we try to stay away from that a little sneaking in but and i i went for years and whatever they brought i could it wouldn't run on the machine right and this guy brings in this little tube of uh stuff and there's there's like 30 people watching me do this i have to i'd be miked there's that many people so i put it on and it runs and it runs and it runs and i'm going oh my god this is the first time in my life i've found somebody that can do that all the 25 people leave okay they're out of there yeah he comes back he says i'm sorry so i got to tell you it was motor coat after they left right you're looking at it you're going what kind of product is this

that is that's just that's incredible now let me let me ask you this are there any other people in the mr motor co family yeah yeah i have i have a daughter and son and my wife and uh she's a real estate agent in ohio and my daughter is about what four years out of ohio state university okay very smart has an incredible job now my son is this new age kid he's 22 years old i i didn't think he was going to make it through high school i mean i we got called every other month computer wizards the room is wall-to-wall computers example

the neighbor at the end of the street gets his house tp'd you know the with the toilet paper yeah he's convinced that his my son and his friends did it did it okay so he comes to the house and says i'd like to have your your son and your friends come clean up my yard and i said what are you talking about so well my yard's been tp then everybody knows that your your son and her his buddies did it and that's why i called my son down i said did you tp he's your archivist dad you got to be kidding i wouldn't do anything so stupid as that he said if i was going to do something i'd i'd do something much smarter than that you got to give me credit so the guy says you're on he says it to my son you're on so you know what they did they blocked out his internet for a month

unbelievable so i mean he yeah he's mr computer and i s and i we're sitting there and they're they're up all night one night and i said i said what are you working on he said well it's some pretty pretty shaky stuff and i said well you better tell me i want to know what's going on in my house he goes we know where hillary zoom wheels are oh i said this shutting this down we're here right now folks here on life of the mile delivered by freight works we want to make sure that uh you know we are we weren't aware or nor we party it's called my lawyer friends uh they call it plausible plausible deniability yeah they we shut that whole thing off but at the end of that is he ended up not going to college and he got a job selling cars for a short period of time okay and then he then he got into this high-end international finance okay operation with these young young kids yeah you can't believe it so now we're living in columbus what's the biggest thing that's going to hit central ohio it happens to be four miles from my house intel is building a billion dollar operation incredible for chips for chips okay they have already bought six lots in the near town incredible there's this 22 year old kid and he's re you know he's he's he's laying the groundwork work that's not only going to change our lives it's going to change his life right overnight right incredible and that's you know that's their life that's an end and he's driving a new tesla yeah and that's like its own culture too now ed let me ask you this is we've got just a couple of minutes left here when you come to something like mass what do you find i mean you haven't you've been here before obviously well it's like old home week for me because people what happens is is that people come to put a face to the voice right of course they don't know the face but they know the voice right what they don't realize is that's the same for me right i don't know them but i know their voice and what's so interesting is that people that have only had a relationship hearing somebody over the air yeah develop an image of what they think they're like right and then they meet the person and often it's i that wasn't what i thought yeah and you know i instantly somebody says you know i listen to you on the radio and i put out my hand and shake their hand and i try to get them to talk right because if they talk like there's a good sense i'll know who they are we don't i want to tell you this ed in rutherfordton north carolina on our local radio station i co-host a program called my great america with jim and butch we're going to have you call in sometime i would love to have you call in it was spawned or birthed with respect for paul harvey i'm old enough to remember paul harvey let me blow your mind okay i worked in chicago you did i worked yeah i worked in chicago how long were you in chicago ten years and i i lived in uh oak park and then okay i i i went i went to wheaton college oh okay well i live in river florida okay sure oak park river forest so yeah a lot of frank lloyd wright homes there oh yeah right oh yeah yeah so i lived well i worked on chica on chicago and michigan with the oldest advertising agency there in grand jacoby and then i moved to to a place on 223 south michigan just across the river right okay and i get on the elevator one day and there's paul harvey oh i love it and i'm and i walk as he gets off he's going up the next floor up for me and just out of i thought it'd be a little smart ass actually and he got i got to go off and i turned around and went good day because not funny right he he was just something i mean his uh and god better farmer is powerful so i moved to river forest and the guy and the the house across the street belongs to paul harvey so then he finds out we're in the same building so now he's asking for rides i take him to work half the time that is incredible here's the interesting part he never gets in the front seat he sits in the back like he's being driven

so you know what that pick up his son his son's working on the rest of the story right for all that stuff and i'd go up there and some of this stuff about learning how to do this was because i was around them all the time that is so incredible i love that we definitely have got to have you if you can do it call into our program though i'd love to the listeners would love that ed you know what we're down to 35 seconds here you know what you've been engaging it's been i hope it's been worth the wait i've enjoyed this conversation a lot and uh you know what you've got more caps than you know what to do with but we want you to be a brand ambassador for life of the mile delivered by freightworks we don't really know what we're doing but six months ago we launched this and it's growing yeah and uh it's been a real joy to have you on as a guest this is ed gibbs he is mr motorcoat but so much more you've given us a lot to think about this is your cap to take thank you very much i appreciate that gift and uh i'm i'm going to look forward intuitively i know we're going to be talking to each other this has been great this is life by the mile delivered by freightworks i'm the host which multi we're here at the mid america truck show and uh i'm i'm sitting next to somebody that understands radio he understands motor code most importantly he understands what moves people and it's been a joy to have you on today thank you very much i've enjoyed it great really enjoyed

thanks for watching this episode you know life by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by a trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to the channel by clicking here we'll see you there


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