Auto Service World
Feature   April 1, 2006   by Auto Service World

Car Care Campaign Focused on Getting Shops Involved

While the focus of Be Car Care Aware is indisputably on the consumer, this year’s awareness campaign will focus on helping automotive service providers deliver that message to consumers.

With a theme of “Finding a Good Shop”, this year’s program expands on the previous consumer-focused media tour–which hits Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, and Montreal this year) with the addition of service provider information sessions and car check lane programs.

Heretofore, awareness of the Be Car Care Aware campaign within the trade, and how to use it, has been a weak point for the program.

A pilot service provider meeting was held last fall in Winnipeg. Automotive Industries Association of Canada communications director Katherine Power says that the meeting went over very well, laying the groundwork for more such events this year.

“This year we’re hosting shop receptions in Vancouver, Mississauga, and Montreal. We’re finding that shops have signed up for the program, but aren’t taking advantage of all the tools,” says Power. The receptions, designed to be relaxed, informal gatherings, will help shops and their jobbers learn more about making the program work for them.

“We walk them through the marketing presentation and [show] how to leverage their participation in the program. All those who attended [the pilot in Winnipeg] said that they learned something new. They understood the program better and were keen to put the new ideas to work.”

Kelly Williams, who has been the voice of Be Car Care Aware for the English-speaking line-up, says that the changes are welcome, but adds that the media part of the campaign continues to be fresh.

She has done an estimated 200 appearances, media interviews, and presentations since the Be Car Care Aware program started in 2004, so one might think that a sameness might have crept in.

“But it’s not always with the same people. Sometimes, it’s like starting over again every time. It’s not always top of mind,” she notes, despite the significant effect that car maintenance can have on a person’s safety.

“By doing the seminars, we can bring everybody into the program. After having done the tour from the beginning, I can talk about how the awareness has grown.

“The whole program is evolving in different ways. In the beginning we weren’t talking to shop owners. It’s always changing as the program matures.”

Those who have spent some time in the automotive aftermarket will recognize one of those changes as a reincarnation of sorts: the car check lane. Usually organized in public, high-traffic areas such as mall parking lots, these events provide consumers with a no-hassle way to have their car examined for visible maintenance issues.

While not a new concept, it is one that can be put in place with relatively few resources at the local level, making it ideal for jobbers or groups of service providers to undertake–that is, once they know what is required.

“We are holding five car check events: Winnipeg, Edmonton, London, Sherbrooke, and Moncton,” says Power. “Any Be Car Care Aware shop can contact me. We’ll get them involved.

“It’s all part of developing turnkey programs for jobbers and shops to get involved in.”

For more information on Be Car Care Aware, contact the AIA in Ottawa at (613) 728-5821 or visit the website at

Be Car Care Aware

Dates to Remember

Media Tour Events

Toronto, May 1

Vancouver, May 4

Halifax, May 11

Montreal, May 15

Car Check Lane Events

London, April 29

Sherbrooke, May 6/7

Edmonton, May 6/7

Moncton, May 13/14

Winnipeg, May 13/14

Service Provider Receptions

Mississauga, May 2

Vancouver, May 3

Montreal, May 15

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