CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 12, 2013) — Meineke Car Care Centers is repositioning its brand with a campaign featuring web sensation Robby Novak — aka "Kid President" — as the Meineke "Kid Mechanic."
The new positioning, "Drive a little smarter," is supported by television, outdoor and digital ads "designed to take the mystery out of simple car care by presenting it in a fun and understandable way," according to Meineke, a subsidiary of Driven Brands Inc.
Meineke said its research indicated that most customers who visit car care centers did not understand many of the services, or how short-term automotive maintenance could prevent long-term issues.
The new campaign features Master Novak — a 9-year-old from Henderson, Tenn., who has created the "Kid President" persona with the help of media company SoulPancake L.L.C.
As "Kid Mechanic," he explains car care to help consumers make educated decisions, the company said.
"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, 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."
Meineke also said there seemed to be a lack of consumer 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,'" Mr. Moskal said. "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.
"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 marketing campaign will include:
- National television advertisements featuring the "Kid Mechanic" on a mission to educate customers in everyday car care;
- A new tagline, "Drive A Little Smarter;"
- Improved online and new mobile scheduling; and
- A new consumer-centric service model highlighting an improved and consistent way of delivering an understandable, personal and satisfying customer experience, the company said.
"This is much more than a new advertising campaign for us," Mr. Moskal said. "We're out to create an elevated service model and a new generation of educated, self-confident, empowered customers.
"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."
The campaign is the work of Pitch L.L.C., Meineke's advertising agency of record since April. It replaces the "My Money. My Choice, My Meineke." advertising campaign that ran the past few years.