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Jiffy Lube Refines Its Direction

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McCarthy Mambro Ber tino is preparing a campaign designed to assure consumers who don't know much about cars that they can still keep their vehicles in great shape—by getting to "know the pros" at Jiffy Lube.

"We needed to start humanizing Jiffy Lube and take a look at the people who come in," said Anne Tawny, senior vp of marketing at the Houston-based automotive-service chain. "We gave people permission to say they [aren't experts] on cars and that's OK."

Jiffy Lube's annual ad spending is approximately $20 million, according to CMR.

One spot, titled "Engine," shows two thirtysomething men checking under the hood of a car. One asks the other what he's looking for; the reply is, "Dipstick." The pair continue to stare until the first man asks how long the other has been looking. "A while," is the response. At the end, the men are still searching as one munches on a sandwich and a woman yells from off-screen, "Did you find it?"

A second commercial, "Hood," shows a couple in their driveway. The man is trying, unsuccessfully, to pop open the hood. At the end, the man triumphantly yells, "Got it!" Unfortunately, he has popped the gas cap instead of the hood.

A third shows a boy and his mother trying to figure out what a greasy-looking spot in the driveway means. "Not everyone knows cars and that's OK, because they know about the pros" at Jiffy Lube, a voiceover states. At the close of each ad, shots of Jiffy Lube workers servicing cars fill up the screen.

"The first campaign put the focus on Jiffy Lube," said Fred Bertino, president of the Boston agency. "We decided to turn the camera around and get into the consumer's world."

Jiffy Lube's vow to maintain each customer's car as a "well-oiled machine"—an overarching line introduced last year in ads from MMB—is retained. The 2001 campaign, MMB's first for the client, showed Jiffy Lube workers moving in syncopated rhythm while a pulsating beat played in the background.

"The campaign shows consumers who aren't do-it-yourselfers how Jiffy Lube can benefit their lives," said Mark Moll, associate creative director at MMB.

The work will break nationwide next week, with TV rolling out on ESPN. Radio and direct-mail executions are also in the mix.