ENGLEWOOD, Colo.-Big O Tires Inc. has released a series of television and radio advertisements designed to build consumer trust by positioning Big O dealers as ``tire experts.'' The campaign marks a major shift in the dealership franchiser's advertising strategy, which had emphasized Big O products, warranties and services through a series of animated spots, said Kelley O'Reilly, vice president of marketing.
``Our animated tire commercials had a unique look and were very successful,'' Ms. O'Reilly said. ``However, recent studies indicate tire consumers do not build relationships with tires. Consumers build relationships with service providers.''
That realization came out of focus group research Big O conducted in Denver, Phoenix, San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., that suggested the buying public wants greater trust in automotive service providers, National Marketing Manager Stacy Ingram said.
The new TV ads feature an actor portraying a Big O dealer, who explains the symptoms of poor alignment, wheel balance and underinflation, and offers solutions to these problems that involve a visit to a Big O store.
Ms. O'Reilly said the campaign intends to counteract the public's negative perception of the tire and automotive service industry.
The 30-second spots employ visual images to demonstrate what occurs when tires are out of balance, poorly aligned or underinflated.
Sixty-second radio spots, produced with country western, orchestral and contemporary background music, cover the same service issues as the TV ads.
Both the radio and television ads follow Big O's ``Build-A-Spot'' design approach, allowing dealers to tailor the ads to their own markets, Ms. Ingram said.
The company will evaluate the effectiveness of the new campaign at the end of the year before deciding whether to develop additional spots, she said.
Included in the marketing campaign is a ``Tire Tips'' brochure, which dealers can distribute through their outlets, explaining what consumers should look for when buying tires, Ms. Ingram said.
``We are trying to position our dealer as someone who is very knowledgeable,'' she added.
Actor Gary McCarthy, right, gets some final directions on the set of Big O's new TV spots.