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Spots integrate sales, service, DriveChicago

November 17, 2010
Humorous CATA media campaign helping to bolster dealers

The unique media campaign in support of vehicle service and used-vehicle sales at new-vehicle dealerships continues, under the direction of the Media Strategy Committee of the CATA board of directors.


Using a broad base of top rated radio stations, the campaign features "light comedy" to break through the clutter with spots produced by The Famous Radio Ranch in California. 

"Business conditions and marketing attacks from competitors," said Media Strategy Committee Chairman John Guido, "dictate that we must support our dealers’ used-car departments and service and accessory operations.


"We want the public to think first about buying their pre-owned vehicles from a new-car store. And we really want the public to continue to service their cars and buy replacement parts and accessories, including tires and batteries, from us." 

According to second quarter 2007 statistics in Chicago Auto Outlook, a quarterly publication commissioned by the CATA, new-vehicle dealerships’ share of the area’s used-car market has trended higher over the past two and one-half years, coinciding with the CATA’s latest media campaign. More than 54 percent of used-vehicle sales from January to July this year occurred at Chicagoland new-car dealerships, showing steady growth over the time period.


The campaign’s strength is in both the media plan and the creative approach. Chicago radio stations that have partnered with the CATA understand the importance of the automotive category in their own client base, and they deliver strong value-based schedules for the CATA. 

"We are on the air during all critical sales and service time periods," said Guido.


Five 60-second commercials rotate throughout the current campaign. Three are dedicated to used-vehicle sales and two carry messages about service and accessories.  

Using humor to break through the enormous media clutter has long been a successful approach. The Famous Radio Ranch works on a market-exclusive basis for the CATA and has established itself as the expert in producing spots that people actually want to listen to.


In a spot titled "Carpool," one new participant of a neighborhood carpool keeps deferring his turn to drive the others. It finally comes out that he doesn’t even own a car. But rather than allow him to quit the carpool, his fellow passengers convince him that he must go to a new-car store and buy a dependable pre-owned car right away.  

The service spots focus heavily on the advantages of having factory-trained professionals installing factory-certified parts. The humor allows the serious side of the messages to come through while holding the listener’s attention.


All spots close with the CATA’s longtime signature music jingle: "When you buy a used car from a new car store, you get a great deal and a great deal more!" And, all spots direct consumers to for a listing of CATA member dealers.  

"The CATA media campaign helps drive traffic to our Web site," Guido said, "and the campaign will help bring new users to the new"


The Web site re-launches later this year with more tools to help people find their next car and arrange for service.