Haviland’s John Bokor and John Bereza are making their voices known on YouTube
By Keith Loria
On May 11, 2018, the first in a series of entertaining YouTube videos on the Legendary Pools & Spas channel began offering instructional tips about the pool and spa industry, plus engaging features and profiles of personalities in the business.
They’ve released more than 55 episodes since then. One episode might look at ideas for water care, another might highlight a dealer with an unusual story. Another discussed chemical storage.
The web series was the brainchild of Haviland regional sales manager, John “The Legend” Bokor, and Haviland marketing manager, John Bereza, who started kicking around the idea of doing videos at the 2017 The Pool & Spa Show.
“We talked about it for awhile but realized that was a stale idea,” Bokor says. “My background is in retail and service in the pool industry, and it’s always been my push to drive consumers back to the professionals. The idea evolved into doing something fun and exciting that engaged people and drove them back into the industry.”
The concept was for the videos to be 50 percent educational for consumers and 50 percent targeted to professionals. “Having been here for almost a decade, there’s a lot of information and insights that the homeowner doesn’t get to see,” Bereza says. “They don’t go to trade shows; they don’t know the training that goes behind a lot of these organizations. We wanted to go behind the scenes and share some of that. We want the industry to like and share our videos because the more videos they share, like and comment on, the better for the industry overall.”
Both Bereza and Bokor are self-described “Discovery Channel, History Channel type of guys” and wanted to put a unique twist on the documentary format to make their videos informative and entertaining. They looked to reality shows like American Pickers for inspiration.
“The two of us do everything,” Bokor says. “I’m in front of the camera, and [Bereza is] behind it. We try to get them to go live in about 24 hours and get up about one a week.”
Since the initial episode in May, the pair have upgraded their lighting; cameras and videos are more advanced but remain cost effective.
Many dealers and distributors are starting to show the videos on in-store monitors: “It engages [customers] and might get them to a different product or idea, or just entertain them,” Bereza says. “Retailers and dealers are getting a lot of positive feedback.”
Bereza and Bokor like finding dealers around the country to profile and are constantly getting calls from those in the industry with recommendations on who to cover in their next video.
They have done six dealer profiles so far — the world’s biggest pool store, the world’s smallest pool store, two distributors and pool builders. They’ve also interviewed a manufacturer of liners and safety covers, a hot tub dealer and a service guy. “We just look to tell good stories,” Bokor says.
For now, they just want to continue having fun and providing valuable information, but looking ahead, they like the possibility of manufacturers sponsoring travel to tell dealer stories. “Haviland sees the good in what we’re trying to do, which is promote the industry as a whole, so we’re grateful for their blessing and their backing,” Bereza says. “We are out here for the greater good.”