O’Leary Gets Its Car Account in DriveTime

LOS ANGELES DriveTime, an owner and operator of automotive dealerships, has awarded its $10 million creative and media account to O’Leary and Partners, the agency said.

The Irvine, Calif., shop landed the business without a review. DriveTime’s previous agency was Gauger + Santy in Phoenix, and O’Leary, which was formerly known as The T&O Group, had been a finalist in the review that resulted in G+S’s selection.

“Following our name change from Ugly Duckling to DriveTime [in August 2002], we need an agency to help us increase customer counts and establish our new brand identity,” said Ray Fidel, COO of DriveTime in Phoenix. “Having worked with some of their people before, I know they have the creative firepower to handle this challenge.”

O’Leary executive creative director Scott Montgomery had worked with Fidel in the past, when each was employed at a different company, said agency president Dave Robinson.

Landing an automotive account has long been a goal of the agency’s, said Robinson, noting that Southern California is “an automotive-driven market.” He added, “It’s a chance to do great work, it has a good budget, and a lot of people here have previous automotive experience.”

Work will include TV and radio ads, which are expected to break in June, Robinson said.

G+S had fashioned TV spots for DriveTime tagged “Now you’ve got options.” It has not yet been determined if that line will be used in future efforts, Robinson said.

DriveTime, which finances and services people with less than perfect credit, has 76 car dealerships in eight states.