Stone & Ward to Give Meineke a Creative Tune-Up

Stone & Ward said its “consumer-centric approach” helped it win the creative portion of Meineke Discount Muffler Shops’ $18 million account.

The Little Rock, Ark., shop pitched three campaigns that communicated four attributes customers said were important when making a decision to choose Meineke, S&W president Millie Ward said. She said she could not specify those messages for proprietary reasons.

The shop also presented creative that did not look as “hard-core automotive” as traditional ads in the category, Ward said.

Gene Zhiss, Meineke’s vice president for marketing and dealer communications, said he was impressed with the strategy and creative presented by the shop and its experience with other franchise-oriented companies, including TCBY and Terminix. “I think that was a key difference,” he said.

Zhiss said it’s likely “some form” of S&W’s strategy will be used in next year’s campaign. The company currently relies on promotion-driven messages.

He added that a new tagline may replace “You won’t pay a lot, but you’ll get a lot,” which Meineke has used since 1983.

There will be at least one consistent element in the new ads—George Foreman, who has been the the spokesperson for nine years.

“We feel George represents a trusted icon,” Zhiss said. “Our research shows that people feel he is appropriate and credible. People associate him now with Meineke.”

The Charlotte, N.C.-based client becomes the fourth national account at S&W. “Meineke is further proof of the type of account we’ve identified for future growth,” Ward said.

S&W will create broadcast, print and collateral for Meineke. Media Partnership in Norwalk, Conn., continues to handle media.

The aftermarket chain’s review included five-year incumbent Malone Advertising of Akron, Ohio, and two undisclosed agencies.