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New CATA $1 million ad campaign promotes vehicle leasing

April 7, 2017
The advantages of leasing from the area’s new-car dealers is the message of an ambitious ad campaign that began several weeks ago and extends through October.
The "Lease for Less" campaign launched March 13 on several area television stations and online. Radio spots join the mix beginning May 1.
 Leasing activity in Illinois lagged much of the nation until the state’s revenue department changed the taxation method effective Jan. 1, 2015. Lease penetration increased immediately. Secretary of State registrations show the percentage grew again in 2016, to about 26 percent of vehicle transactions in the Chicago market. And if the city of Chicago is exempted from the equation, lease penetration jumps to 35 percent.
CATA officials have had numerous discussions with Chicago about eliminating its 9 percent use tax on leased cars, which causes the drag, but the discussions have not yet been fruitful.
The CATA expenditure on the campaign is $1 million, but bonus placements will deliver an exposure to the ads worth roughly $2 million. The radio ads will air on both general market and Hispanic stations.
"The success of our previous campaign in 2015 was helped significantly by the excellent cooperation we received from the manufacturer lease incentives that primed the market throughout the year. It’s with that cooperative spirit in mind that we asked manufacturer regional offices to consider another aggressive round of lease incentives to coincide with our campaign," said CATA President Dave Sloan.
The style of the ads on TV and online resembles what viewers have seen since 2015: whiteboard digital animation. The background now features a highway and road signs, to impart the feeling of being behind the wheel.