Fix Auto "First Word"

Off to a Good Start (BRONZE)

Client Credits: Fix Auto
Fix Auto
VP, Marketing: Carl Brabander
Brand Manager: Jamie Rodrigues
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Chelsea Graham
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Richard Lant
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Kim Roberts
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Claudia Morgillo
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Justin McPherson
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Patrice Magnan
Fix Auto Advertising Board: Nick Allegretta

Agency Credits: Cundari
Creative Agency: Cundari Montreal
Chief Creative Officer: Andrew Simon
Creative Director: Sébastien Tessier
Art Director: Jérôme Bajulaz, Bernice Lo
Copywriter: Dominique Bulmer, Andrew McKenzie
Account Director: Marie-Zélie Sainz, Anne Spence
Account Executive: Madjid Hamidi
Agency Producer: Julie Charlebois
Production Manager: Simon Durivage
Strategist: Malcolm McLean, Jean-François Mallette, Adam Ralph
Media Planning: Luke Moore
Production Company: Les Enfants
Executive Producer: Visant Le Guennec
Director: Jonathan Bensimon
Post Production: Vision Globale
Editor: Gregory Kaufman
Colourist: Jérôme Cloutier
Online: Fred Milot
Audio: Sonart
Sound Engineer: Vincent Dufour
Radio Producer: Megan Waychison
Radio Production: Pirate Toronto
Radio Director: Chris Tait
Sound Engineer: Keith Ohman


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):7 Months
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: November 2014
Base Period as a Benchmark: November 2013 - May 2014

a) Overall Assessment

Founded in Quebec in 1992, Fix Auto was the largest network of automotive collision repair facilities in Canada with its franchisees (Strategic Partners) operating 218 fully independent locations. But even with more locations, Fix Auto was not the industry leader. Carstar had over 200 Canadian locations for its collision and auto glass repair services and was North America’s largest network of body shop owners.

While Fix Auto held a strong position in Quebec, its market share in English-speaking provinces was significantly weaker. A similar trend was seen in terms of brand awareness: Fix Auto led the industry in terms of both aided and unaided awareness in Quebec, but sat far behind in the rest of Canada. Even with Fix Auto’s national coverage, it had very low unaided top-of-mind awareness (3.5%) driven by consumers’ infrequent need for the service.

To complicate matters, up to this point Fix Auto had allowed each province to choose their own marketing approach and the result was greatly differing initiatives per province. In 2014/2015, we changed that by helping to create national and regional SPAF (strategic partner advertising groups) who would help determine our overall creative approach and media application.  

With a similar media spend to the previous year, our 2014/2015 effort would demonstrate whether a unified approach to media and creative would ultimately be successful. 

b) Resulting Business Objectives

-Drive a 10% increase in awareness, nationwide

-Increase sales by +2%

-Unite corporate and franchisee stakeholders through one communications campaign

2014/2015 was the first time funds from corporate and franchisees were pooled for a national advertising campaign. Previously, creative was done on a provincial basis with each group pushing different initiatives.

c) Annual Media Budget
$1 - $2 million

d) Geographic Area
Canada national, English and French

a) Analysis and Insight

The decision to increase Fix Auto’s top-of-mind awareness was driven by two factors – the consumer journey dynamic as well as the infrequency of category interaction.

After being involved in an accident, the given driver would typically call their insurance company to report the collision. At this point, the insurance company would inquire if the driver had a preferred collision centre they’d like to use and if not, ask the consumer to choose from a list of recommendations. So while insurance companies played an important role in the selection of a collision centre, consumers held the ultimate decision-making power.

The other mitigating factor we needed to consider was that collision repair was extremely low interest for consumers, as they didn’t have the need for a body shop until after they’d been in a collision. Given that Canadian drivers have an accident once every ten years on average, there was very little opportunity to create brand affinity through firsthand experience.

Our creative insight was simple yet powerful: A car accident not only caused physical destruction, it caused emotional devastation as well. For the individual involved, this unexpected turn of events was extremely frustrating and upsetting. In fact, it wasn’t unusual for someone to instinctively drop a few “f bombs” as they attempted to process what just happened. We identified an opportunity to turn this negative into a positive by stopping the offensive word mid-utterance in favour of the Fix Auto solution. We needed to make passive individuals think about what they would do if they were in a collision and imprint the Fix Auto brand as their go-to solution.

b) Communication Strategy

Our channel strategy played to the accident mindset, engaging our target consumer and advocates when the notion of “collision” was top of mind. Our collision-oriented strategic media picks were live sports (hockey, football, car racing), live news and traffic reports (TVA, CFCF, CP24, BC1, SportsNews), and live rush-hour weather reports (Météo Média, The Weather Network). Instead of longer format video, we utilized :05 pre-roll on YouTube and through TubeMogul and SourceKnowledge, with a very impactful creative solution. In addition, we deployed inventive HTML5 responsive mobile ads specifically on The Weather Network. And we added to inventive media thinking with in-game virtual billboards within Electronic Arts’ ‘Need for Speed’.

a) Media Used

We used a combination of :15 TV, :05 pre-roll, mobile ads, and in-game virtual billboards.


  1. Quebec Plan: RDS, TVA Sports, TVA, CFCF, Meteo Media inc. mobile app and in-game virtual billboards.
  2. English Canada Plan: TSN, Sportsnet, TWN inc. mobile app and in-game billboards
  3. Regional Heavy-Ups: Digital Pre Roll, Youtube, CP24, BC1

b) Creative Discussion

The creative idea leveraged the first reaction or word that comes to mind after a car collision, quite often of the four-letter variety starting with an “f”. For TV and :05 pre-roll, we created a relatable and ownable problem-solution structure by hard cutting from the start of the “f” bomb utterance by the consumer directly to the “Fffffix Auto” solution by our spokesperson. This was followed by the connection that this was “the first word that should come to mind after an accident.” By employing this very memorable mnemonic device, we were able to address the biggest marketing objective of name recognition and keep Fix Auto front and centre.

 Garage Screenshot


Shopping Cart Screenshot  

Our radio creative used the same creative device. In one spot, a man teaches his son to drive with a not-so-pleasant outcome. In another, a stubborn husband parallel parks in a space smaller than his vehicle.  

Our print campaign showcased the moment after an accident, using the Fix Auto logo as a censorship device over the enraged driver’s mouth.

Male Print


Female Print 

In terms of digital deliverables, we produced HTML5 responsive mobile ads. When a consumer moved his/her phone, the animated car would respond, crashing into the side of the ad unit.  

Mobile Banner


Instead of deploying traditional outdoor, we did so within a very different environment – Electronic Arts ‘Need for Speed’ video game. We secured virtual billboards along the racetrack so whenever the user crashed their car in-game, our Fix Auto message would be close by.



c) Media Discussion

We ran memorable TV creative to generate targeted awareness. In addition, we augmented this with HTML5 responsive mobile ads, :05 pre-roll, in-game virtual billboards, print, and radio. Every media execution reflected the notion of a quick, collision-oriented media interception and each piece of creative depicted an unexpected accident.

We needed a campaign that tied the regions together but delivered appropriate media value into each respective province based on provincial budgets. The overall budget, modest given the geographic scope, accumulated over a long period of time and the objective was to be in market for over one year. We needed to carefully select our targeted media environments and do a good job in each selection, continuously over time. 

a) Sales/Share Results

The Fix Auto ‘First Word’ campaign has been extremely successful against all objectives, with significant growth in awareness, sales, and franchisee acceptance.

Year over year sales +7%

For the first five months of 2015, year over year sales have increased by +7% with increased traffic and business to Fix Auto. This was a significant increase relative to the stated goal of +2%. During this period, direct web traffic increased 81%, signaling increased interest in the brand.

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

137% increase in awareness

Within the first six months of the campaign, national top-of-mind unaided awareness went from 3.5% to 8.3% (a 137% increase), greatly exceeding the objective of 10%. This put Fix Auto in first place nationally, and created a comfortable lead over its closest competitor that was at 2.5%. Over the same period, the proportion of satisfied customers who said they had first heard of Fix Auto on TV went from non-existent to 1 in 10. And according to Fix Auto’s February 2015 Brand Awareness Study, aided awareness in Quebec went from 44% to 66%

c) Other Pertinent Results

Delivered a unified campaign, gaining approval from corporate and franchisee stakeholders

This was the first unified national Canadian campaign for Fix Auto in its history. SPAF embraced our approach and helped sell it into their respective regions.

d) Return on Investment

a) General Discussion

The communications had a direct impact on Fix Auto’s success in the marketplace. Prior to the launch of the campaign, there was very little growth in both awareness and sales. But as demonstrated in the results sections above, once the campaign was launched there was significant growth in both key areas. And with media spending levels consistent from the past year to the current period, based on our collective success, it was clear that the ‘First Word’ campaign really resonated. 

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels:

For the communications period, total spending was $1.4 million for both media and production. For a national campaign, this was a modest amount, especially in comparison to the significant gains achieved in awareness and sales. 


There was no unusual price discounting during the campaign.

Distribution Changes:

During the communication period, the number of Fix Auto franchisees was stagnant.

Unusual Promotional Activity:

Fix Auto promotional and event activity maintained the same level as in previous years.

Other Potential Causes: