Carstar campaigns across the country

In a new, $1-million, multiplatform media campaign, national auto repair chain Carstar Automotive wants to increase brand awareness to 50% with a region-specific media approach.

Customer service surveys that show the most satisfied auto-body repair customers are made to feel like their accident never happened, says Lisa Mercanti-Ladd, senior director, marketing and client services, Carstar Automotive Canada.

So the Hamilton, ON-based auto repair shop last week launched a TV, radio, social media and outdoor campaign called ‘Where accidents unhappen.’ Developed in collaboration with Toronto’s Wild Mouse, Praxis PR and Bos, which handled the media buy, Carstar’s first fully integrated mass media campaign aims to increase brand awareness from 30% to 50% by the end of this year, Mercanti-Ladd tells MiC.

Targeting adults aged 25 to 54, skewed male, the collision repair service is placing ads on the Superbowl pre-game show on CTV, during the NFL playoffs on TSN, and it’s buying air time on radio stations like Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. But the $1-million media buy is tailored to needs of the specific region, says Mercanti-Ladd.

‘We’ll look at the market and determine what is the best type of media. In the Atlantic markets, all the franchisees are spread out, so we chose to do a television campaign,’ Mercanti-Ladd tells MiC.

In BC for example, ads will be placed on Sportsnet during Canucks games, whereas in Quebec it will take a more grassroots, PR-based approach. In March, Carstar will put a smaller portion of its budget to social media drives on Facebook and Twitter, says Mercanti-Ladd. The brand will donate $1 to a cystic fibrosis charity for every new fan on its page, and also hold contests to win a trip to Las Vegas and other prizes.

‘Our goal is to get to 200 locations in the next three years, so we’re also hoping this may help us attract new franchisees to the system,’ Mercanti-Ladd says, about the goal. ‘[We have] regional competitors – three or four, but there’s no national player. Our goal is to be the national leader in collision repair service.’