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Meineke Car Care Centers Launch National Brand Overhaul to Help Customers Drive a Little Smarter

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 06:26
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Meineke Car Care Centers, part of the Driven Brands family of automotive companies, has announced the launch of its brand repositioning based on a radical new attitude about customer service and advertising with a campaign featuring SoulPancake's viral sensation Robby Novak, "Kid President," as the Meineke "Kid Mechanic.” The new positioning, “Drive A Little Smarter,” is supported by television, outdoor and digital executions designed to take the mystery out of simple car care by presenting it in a fun and understandable way.

Despite the seeming simplicity of an oil change, maintaining proper tire pressure, or replacing windshield wipers seasonally, Meineke research indicated that most customers who visited their car care centers did not understand many of the services, or how short-term automotive maintenance could prevent long-term issues. 

As a result, the new campaign, which is Robby’s first foray into the marketing world, features him as the “Kid Mechanic.” In each spot, Robby uses the humorously loveable and optimistic personality that has made him a YouTube hit and a sought-after TED speaker, to explain car care in a way that will inform, empower and help consumers make educated decisions.

“Through our consumer research, we learned that our customers want to understand the fundamentals in automobile maintenance, what things cost and why,” said Jason Moskal, the Meineke’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.  “This insight quickly became the driving force behind our decision to completely change the way we do business, beginning with a company-wide overhaul of how we communicate to our customers.” 

Even more telling was the lack of trust in the industry, often stemming from routine maintenance requests resulting in a recommendation of more serious and costly repairs.

“That was our ‘ah-hah moment,’ car care is confusing and our goal became to demystify the aspects behind regular vehicle care by imparting the knowledge that will inspire smarter decisions,” addsMoskal. “Moreover, we realized the importance of an informed consumer and the fundamental need for educating our customers.  Sometimes sharing a little information and advice and not performing a service if it isn’t mandatory is just the right thing to do.”   

The full initiative begins on Sept. 9 with the unveiling of the new marketing campaign developed by Pitch, Meineke’s advertising agency of record. It will be supported by the following elements:

  • National television advertisements featuring the “Kid Mechanic” on a mission to educate customers in everyday car care.
  • A new way of doing business exemplified by the new tagline, “Drive a Little Smarter,” which includes powerful business development initiatives designed to improve  customer experience before, during and after a visit to Meineke. Whether customers are interacting via, across social media, or most importantly in Car Care Centers – everything is meant to help them “Drive a Little Smarter.”
  • A complete digital refresh to reflect the new company direction, led by improved online and new mobile scheduling. 
  • And, the introduction of a new consumer-centric service model highlighting an improved and consistent way of delivering an understandable, personal and satisfying customer experience.

 “This is much more than a new advertising campaign for us. We’re out to create an elevated service model and a new generation of educated, self-confident, empowered customers,” adds Moskal. “We want to enable them to make smarter decisions by offering personalized long-term solutions that will help them keep their cars in an optimal state rather than focusing on maintenance problems.”

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