Stone Ward Makes Noise for Meineke

DALLAS Stone Ward uses drivers making car noises to convey Meineke’s willingness to listen to customers in the shop’s first major campaign for the client breaking Monday in spot markets.

The campaign consists of four 15-second television spots. In each, a driver talks to a Meineke technician and describes a car problem by making humorous noises. In one spot, the employee notes the cause on his checklist, followed by longtime spokesperson George Foreman saying, “We do it all” and, standing in front of a Meineke location, gives the company’s tagline, “Meineke Car Care Center. Right service. Right price.”

Another ad, featuring a different noisemaker, has Foreman saying, “Technicians you can talk to” before he gives the tagline. The two other commercials feature promotions—one for a $29.95 brake special and the other for 50 percent off brake pads.

“We conducted focus groups across the country and felt making sounds is the only way many [car owners] could communicate,” said shop creative director Jay Cranford. “We thought it was a great way to connect with consumers and show that they can talk directly to technicians at Meineke.”

The shop chose to run 15-second spots to “get as much air play as possible,” Cranford said. Some spots will be paired with others. The strategy was one of three the shop pitched to win the $18 million business in the review that ended in October.

The use of humor is a deviation from previous campaigns by former shop Malone Advertising of Akron, Ohio.

Although the campaign is the first major one for the client by the Little Rock, Ark.-based shop, it is not the first work. In February, Stone Ward introduced Meineke’s name change from Meineke Discount Muffler to Meineke Car Care Center. The Charlotte, N.C.-based client decided to break two separate campaigns because it was eager to introduce the name and the campaign breaking Monday was not yet finished, Cranford said.

Meineke, which specializes in repairing and maintaining older cars, closely competes with Midas as well as local service stations and dealerships.