BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Homey scenes from Middle America carry themes of security and good value through six television advertisements American Car Care Centers Inc. has produced for its network of over 750 dealers nationwide. ``Somewhere between 18 and 30, your car stops being a status symbol and becomes something more basic-transportation,'' a middle-aged wife proclaims in one of the ads while, in the background, her husband loads their Chevy Blazer for a family picnic. ``That's when you need a place like American Car Care Centers.''
The 30-second spots-available to ACCC dealers with local video and audio tags for $250-are scheduled to be aired by the end of the year, according to Richard Abernethy, president of Birmingham, Ala.-based Progressive Tire Distribution and chairman of the ACCC advertising committee.
``Having a female spokesperson was not an accident,'' Mr. Abernethy said. ``We tried to do things in a positive manner and project a positive, sophisticated image that we are in the customer service business.''
ACCC chose the ads' family themes-nearly all of the spots show the wife, husband and their young son-``because a family-oriented commercial would appeal to the broadest cross section of people,'' he said.
Reaching a wide range of people is essential, he emphasized, for the five-year-old marketing and distribution group with its list of 750 dealers located in all 50 states.
The firm hopes the ads, expected to run three years, will provide ``positive consumer awareness'' of the ACCC name, highlight nationwide marketing programs and provide a ``consistent image'' for the dealerships, Mr. Abernethy said.
The impetus behind the advertising spots, filmed at Vazda Studios in Birmingham, were the ACCC member dealers.
``Our dealer group wanted TV; a lot of them were doing TV; but it was inconsistent in terms of image and quality,'' Mr. Abernethy said. ``So we decided to take the bull by the horns and provide something that was consistent in terms of quality and image.''
Each ad shows clips of the family near their vehicles at home interspersed with short visits to an ACCC outlet. The tag line for each spot is, ``American Car Care Centers. Because it's not just your car, it's your life.''
The ads feature different aspects of the ACCC program, including the company's credit card, coast-to-coast limited service warranty and Freedom Plan limited tire warranty.
One spot specifically highlights high performance Michelin brand tires while two other ads tout Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal light truck tires because, Mr. Abernethy said, these are two ``high (sales) growth areas for independent dealers.''